COVID-19: Military moves to support NHS as staff absenteeism rises 59% in a week

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The armed forces are supporting the NHS in different parts of the UK as new data shows hospital staff absenteeism due to COVID has increased by 59% in a week.

Some 200 military personnel are drawn to help the NHS in London, while around 150 personnel will support the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) from next week, driving ambulances, helping lift patients and providing life support.

This came as a system-wide major event was declared in Northamptonshire by health, public and emergency service leaders due to COVID-19.

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The Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum, which is made up of NHS organisations, local authorities, the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Police, issued the alert due to “increasing demand on services and staffing levels”.

Forum President, Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey, said: “Announcing this incident is an essential step to ensure that we are able to share resources where needed which is increasingly important as more employees are able to self-sustain. -Need to isolate.”

Meanwhile, data from NHS England shows that 39,142 NHS staff in hospital trusts in England were absent for Covid-19 reasons on 2 January, up 59% over the previous week (24,632) and more than three times as much at the beginning of December (12,508). ). ,

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Statistics show that one in 25 (4%) NHS staff working in acute hospital trusts is sick or self-isolating due to COVID.

This is based on NHS digital monthly workforce data for September for the 4% Acute Trust (most recently available).

Latest data shows in north-west England 7,338 NHS staff in hospital trusts were absent due to Covid-19 on 2 January, up 85% from 3,966 week-on-week, compared to 8,788 absentees in north-east England and Yorkshire Were. , more than double the number from the week before (4,179).

Omicron means more patients to treat and less staff to treat

In London, absenteeism was 4% week-on-week, up from 4,580 to 4,765.

Overall, there were 82,384 NHS staff in hospital trusts in England who were absent for all illness reasons on 2 January, including self-isolation and mental health reasons, up 21% (68,082) in the previous week and 37% from the beginning of December ( 60,136).

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