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March 26, 2020

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John Lewis Partnership reduces worker absenteeism in the UK

Retail giant saves £25m and 260,000 working days in the last five years.

John LewisThe John Lewis Partnership has been a pioneer of employee health and wellbeing services, introducing free in-house medical services to all its Partners in 1929, some 19 years before the NHS was established.

The Partnership began working with occupational physiotherapy provider Physio Med in 2013, in its fight against sickness absence and, since 2015, Physio Med has helped improve productivity levels among Partners by 26.5% by reducing the time they wait for physiotherapy treatment via the NHS.

The Physio Med service provides Partners with timely access to physiotherapy services – including its PAL (Physiotherapy Services Line), which provides fast access to advice and treatment. This helps Partners keep fit for work, enabling them to recover quickly and safely if they suffer an injury, and improve their wellbeing. It also helps the Partnership reduce the incidence and duration of musculoskeletal injuries, which in turn reduces absenteeism rates.

Nick Davison, Head of Partnership Health Services at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We’ve been delighted with the results the service has delivered and the fact that it has helped so many of our Partners return to work quickly and reduced their pain so significantly, enabling them to continue providing first-class service to our customers, is fantastic.

“Our Partners are the cornerstone of the Partnership so it’s imperative that we invest in their health and wellbeing so they can be at their best.

“Investing in early clinical intervention, such as the physiotherapy provision, is particularly important as our research has shown the potential cost of rising absenteeism due to musculoskeletal conditions.”

Phil Clayton, Managing Director of Physio Med, said: “Sickness absence and presenteeism is one of the biggest challenges facing employers and the Partnership has been a leading light in providing solutions for its Partners.

“Since 2015, we’ve received more than 8,000 referrals from its Partners who were either absent from work or at work in pain and operating at reduced productivity levels. It is rewarding to know that 95% of those Partners have been successfully rehabilitated back into work – a figure that highlights the valuable role that early physiotherapy intervention can play in an effective occupational health provision.”

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