Objectives It is estimated that. 16% of men and 6% of women die during working age. Premature death is known to be more common in Scotland than England or Wales.
Methods This is a small descriptive study that looked at deaths in service of employees of NHS GG&C over a 3 year period between 2007–2009. We assessed rates of death in men and women employed within NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde to try identify the proportion of these employees that had evidence of illness that could have been prevented or modified by health promotion within the workplace. Demographic details, occupational grouping, occupational health involvement and death certificate data and was obtained for employees who died in service between 2007 and 2009.
Results 138 employees died while in service at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde between 2007–2009. Using NHS workforce statistics crude death rates were calculated. The average death rate was 1.1 per 1000 employees per year. The ‘support services’ staff grouping (which includes cleaners, porters, catering and maintenance roles) had the highest death rate at 3 per 1000 per year, medical staff had the lowest at 0.5 per 1000 (p <0.05). The most common causes of death were malignant neoplasms of bronchus and lung (n=20, 14%) acute myocardial infarction/chronic ischaemic heart disease (n=12, 8%) and suicide (n=11, 8%).
Conclusions The difference in mortality highlights that health inequalities can be identified within this workforce. The most common causes of death are those where preventive health action could reduce the number of deaths per annum.
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