NHS Digital uncover new mental health statistic
Mental health illnesses represented 31% of all fit notes in England between December 2014 and March 2017. This was the most prevalent reason for giving out a fit note, new figures from NHS Digital have uncovered.
It’s the first time data has been collected
NHS Digital collected anonymous information for the first time covering General Practitioner practices. These practices are accountable for two-thirds of working age patients. These patients are registered in England with a General Practitioner.
Information from over twelve million fit notes over a 28-month duration have been evaluated. Of these around 5.8 million had a recognized diagnosis.
1 in 5 fit notes were for 3 months absence
From the information analyzed, 1.8 million fit notes were handed out where the diagnosis was a behavioral or mental health condition. Of the incidents for mental health and behavioral conditions, about 1 in five were for time off work for more than three months.
14% increase in stress and anxiety
Extra data showed that:
- A 14% increase of fit notes written for stress and anxiety. This is an increase of about 14% from 503,000 to 573,000.
- January 2017 saw the greatest number of fit notes written, with 556,000 given out during that month.
- NHS Knowsley documented the greatest number of fit notes produced per 100,000 working age registered patients in March 2017. With 4,123 fit notes issued per 100,000 people.
- NHS Richmond recorded the fewest amount of fit notes written per 100,000 working age registered patients in March 2017. With 977 fit notes issued per 100,000 people.
- On a national level, the number of fit notes written in March 2017 was 2,334 per 100,000 working age registered patients.
- Females continuously represented over half of the total number of fit notes given out in the reporting period. From a low of 53.8 per cent in August 2015 to a high of 57.8 per cent in January 2017.