NHS staff shortages exposed: Delta wave levels approaching peak – army called in.
Staff absences from NHS trusts in England due to Covid have nearly reached the peak of the Delta wave last January.
The continued spread of the Covid variant Omicron in English communities has resulted in a high number of hospital staff absences.
Due to a lack of employees, a number of NHS trusts have declared ‘critical incidents,’ threatening to prevent vital care from being delivered to patients.
So, how bad is the current staffing situation and how does it compare to other times during the pandemic?
According to NHS England’s latest figures, 39,142 hospital staff in England were absent on January 2 due to Covid.
This is up 59 percent from the previous week (24,632) and more than three times what it was at the beginning of December.
Staff shortages are nearly at the same level as they were during the peak of the Delta wave last January.
At this point, the number of people who had been absent due to Covid had risen to over 40,000, roughly half of the number of people who had been absent due to Covid during the first wave of the pandemic.
The British Medical Association’s council chairman, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said “we have never known this level of staff absence before” and that the pressures on the health service and GPs are “not normal.”
At least 24 NHS trusts across England had declared a “critical incident” as of Thursday.
The University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are two of them.
Hospitals that move their status to critical can get help from nearby hospitals and NHS trusts.
Furthermore, due to the pressures caused by the spread of Covid, two major incidents were declared in England on Friday.
A civil emergency has been declared by emergency services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
As a result of the increased case numbers and key workers’ self-isolation, a number of agencies, including the NHS, the Fire and Rescue Service, police, and local governments are coordinating their response.
The move comes as 200 Armed Forces personnel are dispatched to London to assist the NHS with staffing shortages.
Military medics will help NHS doctors and nurses with patient care, while general duty personnel will fill in for other absences.
The Royal College of Nursing is a professional body for nurses.
“News from the Brinkwire.”