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Over six per cent of staff across West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust absent from work, according to new data

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Over six per cent of staff across the NHS Trust which runs West Suffolk Hospital were absent from work through sickness or self-isolation as of Wednesday, according to new data.

Of the 6.3 per cent absent at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, the number of Covid-19 related absences of staff either through sickness or self-isolation was 2.5 per cent.

In October, there were 407 Covid-19 related staff sickness or self-isolation 'episodes' recorded, an increase on September, when there were 321.

West Suffolk Hospital.
West Suffolk Hospital.

There has been a continuing upward trend in episodes across the Trust for the last five months.

The Trust's 12-month rolling absence figure was 4.2 per cent.

Across the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees Ipswich Hospital, 478 out of 11,500 staff were off work for a Covid-19 related reason as of today.

Ipswich Hospital. Picture: Google Maps.
Ipswich Hospital. Picture: Google Maps.

Some 24,632 staff at NHS hospital trusts across England were ill with coronavirus or having to self-isolate on Boxing Day, up 31 per cent from 18,829 a week earlier and nearly double the 12,508 at the start of December.

It comes as a spokesperson for the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said there was currently 'high patient demand' at its hospitals, which was expected to carry on into January.

"Our staff are working very hard to ensure everyone who comes through our doors is cared for and supported in the best way possible," the spokesperson said.

“Every effort is being made to direct resources appropriately to both our hospital and community services, as well as supporting the community vaccination drive, working in partnership with local and regional organisations."

A spokesperson for the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are encouraging everyone to give the best gift they can at the start of the New Year by getting vaccinated."

Earlier today, the Trust announced it would be suspending general ward visits across their hospitals from tomorrow due to the high number of coronavirus infections in the community and an increasing number of patients with the virus. Across Suffolk, there were 8128 positive cases of Covid-19 on Boxing Day.

In West Suffolk, between December 23 and December 29, there were 1,698 confirmed coronavirus cases, an increase of 42.2 per cent on the previous week.

In the week up to December 29, there were three deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test – an increase of 200 per cent compared to the previous seven days.