More than 130 Harrogate hospital staff absent due to covid in June


Last updated Jul 25, 2022
Harrogate District Hospital.

More than 130 Harrogate hospital staff were absent due to covid last month.

A report from Jonathan Coulter, acting chief executive of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, has revealed that the increase in spread in the community had led to staff being off sick.

The figure peaked at more than 130 in June amid the spread of the more transmissible Omicron variant.

Currently, 80 hospital staff are absent due to covid.

Mr Coulter said in a report, which will be presented to the trust board on Wednesday, that the spread of covid has put “additional pressure” on staff.

He added that “a small number of staff” would now be affected due to sick pay changes, as the virus is treated like “any other sickness”.

Mr Coulter said:

“The guidance in respect of sick pay for people off with covid has now changed, and covid sickness is now treated and managed in the same way as any other sickness.

“This will have an impact upon a small number of colleagues who continue to suffer with long covid, and who will now move into our usual sickness management arrangements with the risk that after a defined period of time, their pay is reduced or ultimately ceases altogether.

“We are in dialogue with all colleagues affected by this change, but we need to recognise that this will be a difficult time for some.”

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Meanwhile, Mr Coulter confirmed that the trust is currently treating 35 patients who have tested positive for covid.

He added that while the severity of the disease remains low due to vaccine uptake, it has had an impact on flow through the hospital.

He said:

“During the month of June and into July, we have experienced a significant spike in people in hospital who are covid positive. 

“We have currently over 35 people in hospital with CoVid, and whilst the severity of the illness is reduced due to vaccine uptake, the infection control measures that we have had in place result in flow through the hospital being more difficult.”

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