Fit For Work Europe

Fit UK Blog

Discourses on work and wellbeing in the UK


NHS incurring needlessly high sick pay costs as many staff with musculoskeletal disorders still lack support to remain working

Responding to today’s publication, Fit enough for patients? from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Professor Stephen Bevan, Fit for Work Europe founding president and a director at The Work Foundation said:
“We are concerned with today’s findings, which show that 90 local health trusts have spent over £1billion in three years on sickness absence. The recommendations from The Boorman Review three years ago, which identified potential savings for the NHS if sickness absence were properly addressed, have not been fully implemented. This is a missed opportunity for savings to public funds and support for workers with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

“Evidence from Fit for Work UK shows that at least 40% of NHS staff sickness absence is due to MSDs. Yet today’s findings reveal that at least 15% of NHS trusts are not providing early intervention services, such as early referrals to clinicians.

“More NHS trusts should be offering early intervention services and following best practice for fitness for work assessments in order to help employees return to work as soon as is practical. Unless the NHS offers more support for workers with MSDs, it is likely to find it increasingly difficult to meet the challenges of an ageing workforce.”

Notes to editors

1. Professor Stephen Bevan is available for interviews, briefings and written comment.
2. The Boorman Review, NHS Health and Well-being,  was published in December 2009.
3. The Chartered Institute of Physiotherapy report, Fit enough for patients? is available from
4. The Work Foundation aims to be the leading independent, international authority on work and its future. The Work Foundation is part of Lancaster University  – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.
5. Fit for Work UK is a campaigning coalition established in 2011 with the aim to shift the treatment and care of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) from being disabling conditions to manageable conditions.

Media enquiries:

Tom Phillips 020 7976 3554

Anna Kharbanda 020 7976 3646
For urgent out-of-hours media enquiries: Nasreen Memon 07825 527 036


Subscribe to RSS Feed Subscribe to RSS feed

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 at 10:36 and is filed under MSDs, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.