Impact of Absenteeism on Quality of Care in Private Care Home

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This paper first discusses the issue of Absenteeism in a Private Care Home which cares for five people with Learning Disabilities.

Secondly, it looks at SSM, Cognitive Mapping and SODA I as appropriate methodologies for analysing the problem of Absenteeism why SODA I using Cognitive Mapping is best recommended.

Thirdly, a Model is built using Individual Cognitive maps which are then merged to form a strategic map which is action oriented.

Fourthly, limitations of the Model are discussed.

Lastly, a Monitoring system is suggested which helps to monitor absenteeism trends and how it impacts on the Quality of Care Provided.

Finally is the conclusion based on the findings.


Employees can be absent from work either due to Long-term sickness, short-term certified or uncertified sickness or unauthorised absence and lateness. Absenteeism will not include annual leave , maternity, compassionate or absence due to training or attending union meetings but where a worker fails to turn up at work as scheduled resulting in disruption of work schedule, added work load, increased payroll costs and poor quality service an d poor staff morale.

High levels of absence are costly both to individual organisations and the economy as a whole.

• Company Background

The home has 9 full-time Support Workers ( the manager, 4 seniors and 4 support workers) contracted 35hrs a week and 7 part-timers contracted 20 hrs per week who are mostly student giving a total of 455 hours whereas the expected care hours are (72hrs *7days) 504 hrs. The company has a pool of relief staff who can work in any home. Two seniors are on long term sickness due to injury at work hence a shortage of 70hrs a week.

Until recently the home was allowed to use agency up to a maximum of 50 hrs per week and this has been scrapped from Dec 04 (kite Update 2004) and staff are encouraged to do overtime as the clients need regular staff that understand them and know their routines. More work loads leads to stressed staff whose morale will be affected and this in turn affects their performance and absenteeism will increase leading to inefficient Quality of Care provided.

Every shift needs at least a staff who can give medication, a driver and both male and female staff due to cross –gender policy (Care Practice Manual 2004).When a key staff phones sick without notice this will disrupt activities of the day .

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