Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are among the hospital trusts which have declared critical incidents
Four NHS trusts managing 11 hospitals have declared ‘critical incidents’ amid mounting staff absences caused by Covid.
Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are among the hospital trusts that have signalled they may be unable to deliver vital care to patients due to staff shortages.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents health trusts, said approximately half a dozen hospitals across the country have declared critical incidents in the last five days.
He said the status enables hospitals to get assistance from nearby hospitals and other NHS trusts.
He said: “It is a sensible, planned thing to do to ensure that trust can carry on providing the services that it needs to provide, particularly the critical and essential services.”
Despite this, Mr Hopson also stressed that while there are some staff shortages within the NHS, they are localised.
Some are estimating that up to a quarter of staff could be off work with coronavirus but Mr Hopson said the data does not suggest this to be the case.
The four trusts which have declared a critical incident publicly were responsible for 11 hospitals.
Morecambe Bay NHS Trust manages Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in Lancaster and Furness General Hospital in Barrow-in-Furness.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for Blackpool Victoria Hospital and two smaller community hospitals – Clifton Hospital and Fleetwood Hospital.
Morecambe Bay NHS Trust
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- The Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire
The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) manages Lincoln County Hospital, Grantham and District Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital Boston and County Hospital Louth.
And the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust manages just one hospital, the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire.
Management at one of the affected trusts, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS, said “extreme and unprecedented” staff shortages, due to so many medics being off isolating, were expected to result in “compromised care”.
Meanwhile, chief executive of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay, Aaron Cummins, confirmed in a statement that the trust had declared an “internal critical incident”.
In an internal message from Mr Cummins shared on Twitter, he told staff that “sadly, despite everyone’s best efforts, many of our patients are still receiving a level of care and experience that falls below the level of standards we would like”.
The Government said on Monday that a further 42 people had died in England within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.
Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 174,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
On a visit to a vaccination centre on Monday, the Prime Minister said he appreciated the pressure staff were under, and that it was “vital that we make sure that we help them by trying to contain the pandemic” by getting vaccinated and following plan B measures.
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Speaking at the Guttman Centre at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, he warned it would be “absolute folly to say that this thing is all over now bar the shouting”.
But he also said it was “very encouraging” to see children getting jabbed before going back to school.
Speaking to staff, Mr Johnson remarked on people of “all ages” queuing up to get a vaccine.
“Loads of kids too, it’s very encouraging to see. All the kids getting jabbed before they go back to school,” he said.
It comes as some pupils have returned to the classroom today with new advice to wear masks in the classroom.
The move has been recommended for secondary school pupils in England, alongside testing twice a week.