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Royal College of Nursing responds to latest NHS England Situation Report

Press Release 07/01/2022

Responding to the latest NHS England Urgent and Emergency Care Daily Situation Report, RCN Director for England  Patricia Marquis, said:

“These figures reveal why the government hurriedly announced military support for health and care services in London last night. The numbers off work due to Covid-19 in acute trusts rose by almost 60% in the most recent week and have more than trebled in a month to nearly 40,000 staff in a single day.

“Outside of healthcare, staffing shortages are closing shops and cancelling trains but nurses can't stop helping their patients. Instead, they find themselves spread thinner and thinner, but they can’t keep spinning plates indefinitely either - this situation is simply not safe.

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


Notes to Editors

NHS England data published on 7 January 2022 shows 39,142 NHS staff at hospital trusts in England were absent due to COVID-19 reasons on 2 January, up 59% from a week earlier (24,632)

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the voice of nursing across the UK and is the largest professional union of nursing staff in the world. The RCN promotes the interest of nurses and patients on a wide range of issues and helps shape healthcare policy by working closely with the UK Government and other national and international institutions, trade unions, professional bodies and voluntary organisations. 

For more information, contact the RCN press office at 020 7647 3633 or email

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