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Royal College of Nursing responds to latest data showing pressure on NHS services in England

Press Release 13/01/2022

Responding to the latest NHS in England data, RCN Director for England, RCN Director for England, Patricia Marquis, said:

"The number of staff absent for Covid-related reasons remains troublingly high. At least 40,000 staff couldn’t work due to Covid-19 each day last week – rising to almost 50,000 on some days.

"Too many nursing staff are exposed to Covid-19 at work due to improper protection - highest grade FFP3 masks and priority testing need to be provided as standard.

"At the same time, demand for healthcare couldn’t be higher. A record number of people were waiting to start routine hospital treatment at the end of November. Our members are telling us, with so many staff absent, they are struggling to treat their patients safely. Ministers can't keep denying this, the Government needs a clear plan of action." 



Notes to Editors 

  • NHS England data published on 13 January 2022 shows 40,031 NHS staff at acute hospital trusts in England were absent due to COVID-19 reasons on 9 January, a 2.3% increase from a week earlier (39,142)
  • Data also published by NHS England shows a record six million people were waiting for hospital treatment at the end of November 2021

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