Up to a fifth of staff could be absent from an NHS trust in just three weeks, which could lead to the cancellation of 900 operations, a representative organization has warned.
NHS Providers, the organization of members of the NHS Trusts in England, said a mix of staff having to self-isolate due to rising levels of coronavirus infection and people taking ‘to rightly “delayed annual leave due to the pandemic is likely to put pressure on the health service.
The organization said a growing number of trusts had voiced concerns to them in recent days about how the self-isolation of staff now had “a significant impact on their ability to provide care.”
NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said: “COVID-19 infection rates are rising rapidly, with the Secretary of State predicting 100,000 cases per day.
“This means that the number of employees needing to self-isolate will continue to increase if current procedures are maintained.
“Trusts are also expecting a very stretched vacation and time off period this summer, with a high number of employees rightly taking annual leave that have been delayed due to pressures from Covid-19 at the start and at the end of the day. the end of last year.
“One trust predicts that its overall absence rate will potentially reach 20% in three weeks, which means it is expected to cancel up to 900 trades. “
He added that a trust currently has 500 employees a day off work a day due to the virus, the vast majority due to self-isolation, but without specifying whether it is the same trust.
Number 10 suggested on Friday that in order to help manpower levels, NHS staff could be exempted from self-isolation requirements even if they are in close contact with a person which will later test positive.