Impacts of absenteeism in doctors and nurses in primary care and community care
6 April 2020
An evidence review of the impacts of absenteeism in healthcare workers in UK primary and community care.
This review aimed to answer the research question:
Is there a differing impact of absenteeism between doctors and nurses in primary care and
community care staff groups in the UK compared to normal practice / business as usual?
Overview of findings
There is a lack of evidence on the impacts of absenteeism of healthcare workers in primary and community care.
We looked for indirect evidence to answer the research question and found evidence that in some roles nurses may be suitable as substitutes for doctors in primary care. In particular, nurse-doctor substitution can have positive impacts on patient satisfaction; impacts on clinical outcomes were also similar or positive for nurse-led care versus doctor-led care.
We also found some limited evidence on the impacts of absenteeism in secondary care that were suggestive of an association between nurse absenteeism and poorer patient satisfaction and health outcomes, though this evidence had high risk of bias and results had been selectively reported.