Absence of Northern Trust staff – Ballymoney Bubble

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust anticipates challenges over staff absences for “a few more weeks”, chief executive Jennifer Welsh has warned.

Speaking at Thursday morning’s Trust board meeting, the CEO reported absences across all areas of Trust’s services which are provided on a ‘critical need’ basis amid the coronavirus pandemic. Covid continues.

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‘We expect the staff challenges across all social care services to continue for a few more weeks,’ she said.

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She went on to say that when it comes to visiting arrangements, “although community transmission remains high, the Trust must remain cautious.”

She stressed that the Trust will continue to care for all of the sick, frail, vulnerable and elderly for whom it cares.

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She said staff absenteeism is just over 12%, but is “declining slightly”.

On Tuesday 25 January, there were 536 absent Northern Health and Social Care Trust staff who either had confirmed Covid symptoms and were self-isolating,

The Covid-related absence peaked this month on January 13 with 652 absent staff. By comparison, on January 4, there were 489 absent employees who had Covid and were self-isolating.

There are 12,152 staff employed by the Northern Trust.

On January 25, there were 226 who were self-isolating or shielding. There were 814 absentees with a non-Covid illness.

January 13 saw the highest rate of non-Covid illness among staff this month at 951.

In his performance report, Neil Martin, Acting Divisional Director of Strategic Development, said the Omicron variant resulted in a “very significant impact on staffing levels across all departments”.

Finance Director Owen Harkin said the Trust had spent £38million on agency staff so far this financial year.

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