Disclosure Details

Sickness - 474/16

Dated: 05 May 2016

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

Thank you for your e mail dated  12 April  2016 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions 

You asked:

1. In the 2015 calendar year how many police officers (NOT civilian staff) were absent for the entire year through medical problems associated with stress, anxiety or depression.

2. In 2015 (i) how many police officer duty working days and (ii) calendar days were missed because officers were absent through medical pr problems associated with stress, anxiety or depression.

3. In 2015 how many officers attended any relaxation/stress management courses?

4.What was the name of this course?

5.How much did it cost your police force?

6.Please provide me with any information that is provided to officers prior to attending the course as an explanation of what the course will consist of.


We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the HR Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police. 

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. In 2015 only 1 officer was absent for the entire year through medical issues associated with stress, anxiety or depression.

2.  The table below shows the total number of working days and calendar days that were lost in  2015 due  to officers being absent through medical issues associated with stress, anxiety and  depression:-

Absence Reason         Working Days              Calendar Days

Anxiety                              1087                                 1870

 Depression                        1502                                 2563

 Stress                               4092                                 7159

Total Days Lost                   6681                                 11592

3. and 4.  In 2015 the Senior Occupational Health Counsellor and Health and Safety Advisor ran Stress Awareness for Managers courses on the following dates:-

21/01/15   delivered to Northern Communications Centre

28/01/15   delivered to Southern Communications Centre

26/03/15   delivered to Business Support Department

This training was delivered at the specific request of local senior management within Communications Department and Business Support Department and was aimed at supervisors/managers.  Areas covered included how to manage stress in the workplace, risk assessments and making reasonable adjustments.

Signposting and advice was also given with respect to the various in-house support mechanisms we have available within Northumbria Police to assist both officers and police staff who might be suffering from stress, anxiety or depression.

They include:-

Trauma Risk Management process (TRiM)

OHU Counselling support

OHU Clinical support

We are able to support a range of workplace adjustments ie flexible working, restricted duties.

We have policies/procedures that allow us to offer a range of alternatives to sickness absence ie compassionate/bereavement/terminal illness leave, special leave, dependants leave, unpaid leave and career breaks.

Health and Wellbeing events were held on 24/04/15 and 10/09/15 where the Senior Occupational Health Counsellor ran relaxation classes during these events and was present to provide advice or guidance throughout the day.

We do not hold the numbers for those who attended the above sessions.

In 2016 Mental Health in the Workplace training sessions were delivered by MIND across the force area which was aimed at first line supervisors and managers.  445 people attended the training 385 of those were police officers and 60 were police staff

5.  All training was delivered in-house with no cost to Northumbria Police.

6.  Please find below the text of an e-mail broadcast sent to all officers and staff within Northumbria Police regarding the Mental Health in the Workplace training.  As the training sessions delivered in 2015 (referred to above) were locally held initiatives we do not have access to pre-course information.

"The national charity Mind, has been awarded £4m of funding from the Government, to develop the

Blue Light Programmeproviding mental health support for emergency services personnel and volunteers across the country.  The programme has been developed in full consultation with the emergency services. 

As part of the Blue Light Programme the Disability Support Association in partnership with Mind, has secured funded mental health training for first line supervision focussing on support for police officers, staff and volunteers.  The training will commence in January 2016 and will be supported by the Human Resources Department.

First line supervision in Response, CID, Custody, Neighbourhood roles and nominated police staff will shortly receive joining instructions confirming their allocated date.  Where a supervisor cannot attend, they must email the Mailbox advising of the cancellation and suggesting an alternative date.

Further investment in officer and staff wellbeing was identified as a key area for development within the Staff Survey and in recent focus groups with officers and staff.  This training represents the first investment in first line supervision since the Staff Survey. 

The Force is committed to making positive changes to improve mental health in the workplace.  This training will sit alongside the existing framework of support for mental wellbeing already available to our officers, staff and volunteers."


Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure.

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.