London Covid: ’40 percent’ of capital’s NHS staff could be absent because of rising coronavirus infections

0


As much as 40% of London’s NHS workforce could be off work due to rising Covid infections, a London University professor has said.

Professor Alison Leary, chair of healthcare and workforce modelling at London Southbank University, called the statistics a “worst-case scenario” amid worrying levels of staff shortages throughout the NHS.

Read more:When is Boris Johnson’s next Covid announcement as Londoners fear their New Year’s Eve plans will be halted



London boroughs are seeing the highest Covid levels in the country

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme, she said: “The NHS is in a fairly fragile state in terms of workforce anyway – that’s fairly well documented – and the increased absence rate due to Covid and Omicron in particular are putting a lot more strain on the system.

“Christmas Eve is the last data we have, there is more data due out today, but, essentially, London’s absence rate is up by about 30%, depending on the organisation.

“That’s not just people off sick with Covid but also people isolating because of positive tests. It is kind of going up every week. Normal sickness rate runs around 4-5% in the NHS, and we are looking more now at 8-9%.”

Asked whether that pattern was likely to be replicated elsewhere, the academic said there were similar signs in the North West of England and the Midlands was showing “increased rates of absence”.

Pressed on what was likely to happen over the coming weeks, Prof Leary added: “One of the scenarios we’ve modelled is around 40% of the workforce being off, absent in London. We’d hope that’s a worst-case scenario, but because we are already seeing an increase, I think it wouldn’t be unrealistic to expect that to go up significantly.”

The Prime Minister is not expected to announce further restrictions today to control the Omicron variant in England after being briefed on the impact Christmas had on Covid infections and hospital pressures.

Conservative MPs have urged caution in going beyond Plan B in England, with veteran Tory Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown calling for a “wait-and-see” approach to the impact of infections on hospital admissions.

The latest UK infection data currently in the public domain dates back to Christmas Eve, when more than 122,000 people tested positive in the previous 24 hours, while hospital data on the Government dashboard has not been updated since December 20.

In a sign the population could be curbing its own behaviour after Christmas, retail bosses said they had experienced a “muted start” to the post-Christmas sales, with a high street expert suggesting London’s West End experienced a drop of almost half of pre-pandemic footfall levels on Boxing Day.

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of The West End Company, which represents 600 business across Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street and in Mayfair, said the turnout was largely due to the emergence of the Omicron variant.

The comments come as curbs on hospitality and large events were brought in for those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the Scottish Government ordering nightclubs to be shuttered from Monday while hospitality businesses will need to return to offering only table service if serving alcohol.

England is currently under the UK Government’s Plan B rulebook, with guidance to work from home, mask wearing in shops and other public settings, and Covid passes to gain entry to large events.

Are you working in an NHS hospital and want to share your experience? Get in touch lucy.wi[email protected]





Source link

Denial of responsibility! Planetconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment