Newcastle hospitals under pressure with “significant absences” as staff were asked to self-isolate
Newcastle hospitals are forced to deal with “significant absences” as many people are asked to self-isolate.
It is believed that hundreds of employees at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Freeman Hospital have been unable to come to work in the past few weeks due to Covid-19 – either through contracting the virus or because they or their children were affected ordered to self-isolate to have come into contact with someone who has it.
The number of alerts sent by the NHS has increased enormously Covid-19 app causing problems for organizations and businesses across the country as infections rise and more workers are told to stay at home.
The government has said the app will be reviewed and could be tweaked to “ping” fewer users as lockdown measures will be relaxed and vaccine rollout will continue while telling people not to ignore or delete the app.
It comes like Case numbers in the northeast continue to rise, with our region now England’s coronavirus hotspot and the infection rate in Newcastle escalating to more than 800 per 100,000 residents, according to latest city council data.
The increase in cases has been mainly among young people and, as such, has not yet resulted in a massive increase in hospital admissions.
But the number of Covid patients now being treated in Newcastle hospitals has risen to 39, with six requiring mechanical ventilation.
In a blog post on Friday, Dame Jackie Daniel, General Manager of Newcastle Hospitals, warned that the number of emergency room patients was also at “unprecedented levels” and that the number of staff having to self-isolate made the situation worse.
She said, “I think we were all hoping things might feel a little better day by day as we neared the end of the acute effects of the pandemic and began to establish our new normal. This has not been shown to be the case, and in the past two weeks we have seen another surge in Covid-19 cases in the northeast.
“We currently have 39 patients with Covid in our hospitals, and that number continues to grow. Fortunately, it becomes clear that the vaccination program makes a difference in the severity of the infections we see. Hospital admissions have escalated less quickly here than in the previous waves, but it is noticeable that we still have people with severe Covid disease in our intensive care units.
“Our emergencies remain at unprecedented levels in both the adult and children’s wards, and everyone is working hard to bridge our backlog of elective activities so patients don’t have to wait any longer than necessary. I know that areas such as our cancer directorate, the children’s hospital, transplantation and our maternity services are also extremely busy.
In addition, and due to the wider opening up of society, many employees have been contacted through the NHS Covid-19 app to indicate that they may have had contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. This has resulted in significant absenteeism and thus pressure on all of our teams across the company. “
She also thanked the staff, who were “flexible enough to work in different wards and services to support colleagues and patients, others have worked with fewer staff than we would like”.
Dame Jackie added, however, that the issues “are unlikely to be resolved quickly and we need to keep asking people to be flexible over the next few weeks”.
The hospital trust refused to confirm how many staff were currently absent.
A spokesman said: “Inevitably, the rising number of coronavirus cases in the community has in turn impacted our workforce as more people need to self-isolate after receiving notifications from the NHS Covid-19 app or for other reasons such as self-isolating” Taking care of children who are isolated from school.
“As we enter another very busy time, our main concern is to keep everyone safe and we ask people to continue to support the NHS by following simple things like increased hand washing, wearing masks and vaccinations.”