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Issue:- 14 October 2010

More than half of workers feel their boss doesn’t care about their health

EMPLOYERS in the North West are missing out on millions of pounds each year by failing to invest in the health and wellbeing of their staff, a new report published by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) reveals.

Sickness Costs shows that organisations and companies that provide workplace benefits such as physiotherapy services make significant savings through higher productivity and fewer absences caused by conditions such as back pain and joint injuries, which are known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

A survey for the report suggested employers are unaware of the potential savings and do not recognise the consequences of failing to act on MSDs, which affect 550,000 people across the UK, according to the Health and Safety Executive, making it the most common work-related health problem.

The CSP is concerned that the attitudes of some employers may stop staff seeking help for health problems that may be preventable.

The survey found that in the UK:-

► Three in ten managers believe staff who call in sick with an MSD are well enough to work, but just don’t want to

► More than a third (35%) find such absences irritating because others have to take on additional workload, while 22% say it’s a drain on their business they cannot afford

► 50% of workers feel their bosses don’t care about their health

► 28% of workers in the North West fear being sacked or facing redundancy down the line if they take time off sick

► Nearly two thirds (63%) of small-to-medium enterprises do not provide occupational health services to staff

The survey follows earlier research carried out by the CSP that showed 36 per cent of employees work all day without a lunch-break and 31 per cent experienced physical pain at work at least once a week, putting their health at risk and causing huge cost to employers.

Phil Gray, Chief Executive of the CSP, said:- “We recognise it is tempting in difficult economic times for businesses to cut back on health and wellbeing initiatives such as a physiotherapy service. But that is a false economy, because ignoring a recurring condition can potentially lead to lower productivity and high temporary staffing costs. We are calling on employers to follow the lead of companies highlighted in the report who invest in the health of their staff.”

Statistics from the Work Foundation reveal that absences from work caused by MSDs alone cost society about £7.4 billion a year. And research by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health show a further £15 billion is lost through ‘presenteeism’ where staff are at work but performing below their full potential because they are unwell.

Sickness Costs shows Anglian Water was able to achieve a return on investment of £3 for every £1 spent on physiotherapy services. In addition, claims for back pain reduced by 50 per cent and ill health retirement by 90%.

Royal Mail achieved similar benefits, with their programme providing a return of approximately £5 for every £1 invested.

Ann Green, Chair of the CSP, said:- “The findings in our report should be of real concern to all of us as they suggest a culture in which staff with genuine illness or injury are encouraged to work, rather than get appropriate treatment. As shown in the report, early access to physiotherapy is particularly effective in preventing musculoskeletal disorders from becoming a serious long-term problem. Employers need to encourage a more open culture so employees feel able to report sickness sooner.”

A leaflet, called Fitness Profits, has been produced as part of the CSP’s Fit for Work campaign and provides advice and information for business of all sizes on how to keep staff healthy and improve productivity.

Ben Willmott, senior public policy adviser for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said:- “The report shows the value of investing in employee wellbeing to support health and reduce absence. Proactive support and early intervention can make all the difference in identifying and managing problems such as stress and back pain, which if not addressed, frequently become recurrent and often long-term problems. Research shows the longer people are off sick the less chance they have of returning to work. Early referral to occupational health and the availability of treatments such as physiotherapy and counselling can make the difference between someone staying at work and managing their condition and going off on long-term sick leave and in some circumstances falling out of employment altogether.”

The CSP’s Fit for Work campaign encourages both employers and employees to adopt healthier lifestyles through improving poor work practices, taking regular exercise to reduce stress and improve fitness and encouraging a work-life balance.


POPULAR with both adults and kids alike, The Queen has been named the person who makes Liverpudlians most proud to be British, a study has revealed.   The research that was carried out by to mark its sponsorship of the Pride of Britain Awards, confirmed Britain is truly a land of hope and glory, with a love for the Royals that eclipses that of popular modern day celebrity culture.

Her Majesty beat stars including David Beckham and Robbie Williams to take pole position and proved quite a hit with Liverpool youngsters, as under 16s voted her into third place. Securing the majority of the younger vote however, was the X Factor’s Cheryl Cole who bagged the top spot followed by Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Liverpool Adults’ Top 5:- Liverpool Children's’ Top 5:-
1. The Queen 1. Cheryl Cole
2. Princess Diana 2. JK Rowling
3. David Attenborough 3. The Queen
4. Emmeline Pankhurst 4. Winston Churchill
5. Winston Churchill 5. Alexandra Burke & Leona Lewis

However, not all celebrities fared so well in the poll. Following on from the recent media scrutiny surrounding David Beckham, less than 0.5% of Liverpool adults and only 2% of Liverpool kids chose him as the Brit that makes them most proud.

The poll, undertaken by the Pride of Britain sponsors, also investigated those quintessential things about daily life in the UK that make us proud to be British, and our history and heritage (56%) and sense of humour (38%) came out on top in this element of the poll.

Liverpool’s younger generation is similarly proud of our sense of humour (35%) and history and heritage (32%), but also see our great British countryside (35%) as one of the top reasons to the proud to be British. Interestingly, following a star studded London Fashion Week last month, our national sense of dress left 8% of adults the most proud of the nation. However, double as many kids in Liverpool chose attempts in the fashion stakes as the reason behind their sense of national pride.

The results of the survey also revealed how many thousands of people gave up their time to help others, many of them young people determined to do their bit for those less fortunate.

When it comes to charity work, it seems Liverpool’s younger generation has more to give than local adults, as only 7% had been inspired to take part in charity work by their British idol, whereas almost a quarter of kids surveyed have taken part in good deeds to be more like theirs.

To recognise the selflessness of these young individuals the Pride of Britain Awards will, this year, award someone the first ever Young Fundraiser of the Year Award, at a star-studded ceremony on Monday, 8 November 2010.   The award will recognise the inspiring and selfless acts made by young people and the positive difference they make to their community. The Young Fundraiser of the Year category rewards a child or teenager under the age of 16 who has demonstrated extraordinary generosity of spirit to raise funds for a special cause.

Gareth Jones, Retail Director of, which carried out the study, said:- "It’s fascinating to see the differences in who the younger generation choose as the individuals that make them most proud to be British when compared with adults. Interestingly, double as many youngsters than adults have been inspired to take part in charity work after witnessing the good work carried out by their own British icon. Here at we believe it’s great that kids really want to make a difference themselves and have launched the Young Fundraiser of the Year Award as part of this year’s Pride of Britain Awards. The award will recognise a young person who has gone beyond all expectations to selflessly help others, with the winner revealed at the ceremony."


MERSEYSIDE Police are investigating following a fatal RTC on the Formby Bypass on Monday, 11 October 2010. "A report was received at just after 4.10pm that two vehicles, a blue Ford Fiesta and a blue Honda Jazz, had been in collision between Orrell Hill Lane and North End Lane on the northbound carriageway of the Formby Bypass. An 86 year old man from the Honda died following the incident. The passenger, his 78 year old wife, was taken to hospital to be checked over as a precaution and has since been discharged. The driver of the Fiesta, a 23 year old man from Formby, was taken to hospital by air ambulance with suspected spinal injuries. A large section of the Formby Bypass was closed both northbound and southbound and motorists were advised to avoid the area or follow diversions." said Merseyside Police. Anyone who witnessed this incident is asked to contact traffic collision investigators:- 0151 777 5771.

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