More than 500 staff in Southern Trust off work due to COVID-19

More than 500 staff in the Southern Health Trust are off work for COVID-19 related reasons, it has been revealed.

Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 4:04 pm

The news comes as Craigavon Hospital increases its ICU beds from 6 to 16 and elective surgery cancelled this week.

A spokesperson for the Southern Health Trust said: “Over the last few weeks we have seen a very significant surge in the number of cases of COVID-19 in the community and in our hospitals.

“This surge has brought additional challenges due to staff sickness and isolation measures and we currently have more than 500 staff off work for COVID-19 related reasons.

Emergency Department at Craigavon Area Hospital.

“More people are requiring specialist clinical care in the Intensive Care Units and we have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel elective surgery this week as we expand capacity in our ICU as part of our surge response plans.

“Planned surgery procedures across a range of specialties have been postponed in Craigavon Area Hospital – affecting 68 Southern Trust patients. This will enable staff to be available for redeployment to assist in areas of greatest need like the Intensive Care Unit. We will do everything possible to reschedule cancelled surgery over the coming weeks.”

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