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Peterborough hospital facing high levels of staff absences amid Omicron wave

Hospitals across the country are facing increased pressures as cases of coronavirus, in particular the Omicron variant, continue to sweep throughout the nation.
Peterborough city hospital
Peterborough City Hospital. Photo: John Baker

From January 3 to January 9 figures show there have been almost 4000 new cases within Peterborough, a 41.7% increase compared to the previous seven days.

With the emergence of new variants, the NHS fears a potentially sharp increase in pressure on services and hospitals across the country. 

The North West Anglia Trust, which Peterborough City Hospital is part of, is just one of the NHS trusts that have experienced "higher-than-usual levels of staff sickness".

As of the start of last week around 6% of staff of the trust were absent - 430 people - and of those 187 were absent due to Covid, either with it or isolating because of it.

The North West Anglia Trust has plans in place to ensure they manage the situation of less staff - one of which includes sending staff to different areas that need extra support.

Although North West Anglia Trust hospitals are not classed as a 'critical incident' they have had to postpone some non-urgent appointments and operations.

Phil Walmsley, Chief Operating Officer at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Like many hospitals, we are experiencing higher-than-usual levels of staff sickness at the moment due to the increase in community infection rates.

“However, we have robust escalation plans in place, including redeploying staff to areas that need additional support, to ensure that we can manage this situation.

"I can confirm that we have had to postpone some non-urgent appointments and operations as a result of this, but we will continue to review this on a daily basis and are operating safely to ensure that our patients continue to experience good care.

“I would like to apologise for the frustrations that this may cause some of our patients who have been awaiting appointments. We will reschedule these quickly and I would also like to thank our staff for stepping up to fulfil additional shifts to ensure we can minimise any rota gaps during this time.”

In a bid to help prevent the spread of the virus, the hospital  also issued new visiting restrictions from Thursday, November 18, 2021, which can be viewed by clicking here