Hundreds of hospital staff off sick every day as pressures take toll

Young female healthcare worker with a headache. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hundreds of hospital staff are having to take time off sick every day - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hundreds of staff members are being forced to call in sick every day across the region's three main hospitals as they continue to battle the physical and mental strain of the pandemic.

As Norfolk passes its 100,000th positive Covid test, the region's hospitals continue to provide the main battlegrounds for the fight against Covid-19, while continuing to deal with increasing demand for other services.

And as a result, hundreds are being forced to take time off every day across all three sites, with physical illness, stress and strains on mental health among the main offenders - while scores each day are still missing work through Covid and self-isolation.

While the numbers are considerably lower than during the height of the pandemic, when some days almost 1,500 members of staff were absent at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital alone, the numbers are gradually beginning to climb again.

But the latest figures have shown contrast in the reasons people are missing work, with Covid itself responsible for a much lesser role in 2021.

Between March and August 2020, the vast majority of absentees were as a result of either testing positive for the virus itself or needing to self isolate, but now this picture is considerably different.

On November 3, the day the most recent figures were released, 993 members of staff were off sick from working across the three hospitals, 510 from the NNUH, 251 from the Queen Elizabeth in King's Lynn and 232 at the James Paget in Gorleston. Of these, 115 were related to Covid.

Most Read

A spokesperson for the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney said: “NHS staff have gone above and beyond over the course of the pandemic, and continue to do so, to deliver quality patient care and to support each other.

"Covid-19 continues to circulate in the community and we’d urge the public to continue to wear face coverings in crowded places to reduce the spread of the virus and to continue to do routine lateral flow tests.

"We’d urge everyone who is eligible to get their Covid-19 booster and flu vaccination ahead of this winter.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter