Covid related staff absence almost trebles in month at University of Bristol & Weston hospitals trust
In the four weeks to January 5, 2022 and due to high general and acute bed occupancy both University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and North Bristol NHS Trust had potentially dangerously busy wards.
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Covid-related staff absences at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) almost trebled in a month, new figures show.
The average daily absences at UHBW between November 29, 2021 and December 5, 2021 was 114.
After four weeks, this daily average absence total had increased by 163.7% to 302.
The average for the same period amongst all hospital trusts in South West England and in all of England was 90.2% and 197.7% respectively.
Covid-related staff absences at North Bristol NHS Trust more than doubled over the same four week period.
The average daily absences at North Bristol NHS Trust between November 29, 2021 and December 5, 2021 was 72.
After four weeks, this average daily absence total had increased by 128.1 per cent to 165.
Both UHBW and the North Bristol NHS Trust had potentially dangerously busy wards from November 29, 2021 to January 5, 2022.
In the week from December 27, 2021 to January 5, 2022, the average general and acute bed occupancy at both UHBW and North Bristol NHS Trust was 95.6% and 96.1% respectively.
The average total for all acute trusts in England for the same seven day period was 89.7%.
Hospitals are considered to be too busy if more than 85% of their available general and acute beds are occupied by patients. After this, patient care is thought to be compromised.
General and acute beds are for people admitted from A&E, by their GP, or who are recovering post surgery. It excludes beds in intensive care, maternity, and mental health wards.
“In fact, around 10,000 more colleagues across the NHS were absent each day last week compared with the previous seven days and almost half of all absences are now down to Covid.
“While we don’t know the full scale of the potential impact this new strain will have it’s clear it spreads more easily and, as a result, Covid cases in hospitals are the highest they’ve been since February last year – piling even more pressure on hard working staff.
“Those staff are stepping up as they always do; answering a quarter more 111 calls last week than the week before, dealing with an increasing number of ambulance call outs, and working closely with colleagues in social care to get people out of hospital safely.
“You can help us to help you by ensuring you are vaccinated against Covid.”