Responding to the latest NHS England Situation Report data Royal College of Nursing Director for England, Patricia Marquis, said:
“Covid-related staff absences in the NHS in England have risen by 60 percent in only two weeks, showing that the pressure on nursing staff in every region refuses to let up.
“With a significantly depleted workforce undermining their attempts to provide safe and effective care, these absences are the last thing nursing staff need.
“The UK government is offering scant comfort – yesterday’s Spring Statement did nothing to address the tens of thousands of vacant nursing posts in the long term.
“Cases are rising and more uncertainty looms with free community testing set to end this month. Employers must ensure nursing staff have continued access to testing and high-quality PPE."
Notes to Editors
Data from NHS England showed on Sunday 20 March there were 22,323 staff absent for COVID-19 related reasons. This compared to 13,968 on 6 March. An increase of 59.8%.