basic incident declared at Lincolnshire hospitals as ‘extreme’ staf…

A ‘basic incident’ has been declared at hospitals in Lincolnshire over ‘extreme and unheard of’ staff shortages as the omicron variant of Covid-19 tears by the country.

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) said it was ‘unable to continue safe staffing levels’, leading to ‘compromised care’.

An alert from the Trust confirmed it had been declared on Saturday night, with ‘compromised’ staffing levels at both Lincoln County Hospital and Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, reports The Mirror.

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The Trust also runs Louth County Hospital.

Dr Colin Farquharson, ULHT medical director, said: “As a consequence of meaningful staffing pressures due to absence related to Covid-19, we are having to take additional steps to continue sets.

A woman has died at a Lincolnshire hospital after testing positive for Covid-19

“Our staff continue to work exceptionally hard and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that in spite of of the challenges faced, basic sets keep fully open for anyone who needs them, so people should continue to come forward for care.

“People can help us to help them by getting their Covid booster vaccine to protect themselves and their families and reduce pressure on health sets.”

The ULHT’s alert said: “An internal basic incident was declared across the Trust due to extreme and unheard of workforce shortages meaning that we are unable to continue safe staffing levels.

“This is resulting in compromised care across our hospitals, and an inability to continue a number of meaningful pathways, including those around stroke and cardiac care.

“The rapid increase in staff absent because of sickness is the largest factor in this decline in staffing levels, although reduced bank and agency fill is also a factor.

“This has meant that staffing levels are stretched across all sets, and staffing ratios have been increased.”

The alert also warned that rising Covid admissions was adding additional putting pressure to the Trust’s hospitals, where infections are now spreading.

Non-clinical staff working for the Trust are now being asked to step up to help the hospitals.

NHS staff absences have soared 31% in a week amid warnings the health service could be overwhelmed “quite quickly”.

The latest data shows 24,632 acute Trust staff in England were absent due to Covid illness or isolation on Boxing Day.

That is a rise from 18,829 a week earlier and around double the 12,508 figure on December 1.

Absences soared already higher on December 23, before Christmas skeleton rotas kicked in – with 27,716 people absent on the same day. They then dipped slightly on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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