April 6, 2020 12.39 pm This story is over 17 months old

More than 500 Lincolnshire hospital staff absent due to coronavirus

Two testing stations are being set up for staff

Coronavirus has pushed the number of NHS staff absences at Lincolnshire’s hospitals to around 11% of the workforce as testing stations are being set up in the county this week.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust chief executive Andrew Morgan said that as of Sunday, 525 staff members were off, self-isolating or not in work due to COVID-19.

On top of normal sickness this brought the total absence to around 850 people.

Mr Morgan said the national average was between 10-15%, but he had seen some trusts lose up to a quarter of their workforce.

Some staff have also taken advantage of housing facilities offered by the trust in a bid to protect themselves.

Andrew Morgan, chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust. Picture: Calvin Robinson.

This morning the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum set up one of two NHS staff testing stations in Lincolnshire at the Yarborough Leisure Centre, in Lincoln.

Another is planned to be opened in Boston. However the location has not yet been disclosed.

The aim initially, said Mr Morgan would be for the drive-thru centres to focus on intensive care, emergency department and ambulance staff currently isolating at home for the 14-day period because a family member has symptoms.

This would include testing the family member which, if the results come back negative, would mean the staff member would be able to return to work.

Mr Morgan said staff morale at the moment was “generally good” but that people were clearly anxious.

“They’re anxious for themselves anxious for their own loved ones and anxious for what they have to do when they’re at work,” he said.

Health and wellbeing support is being offered and the trust is working to keep staff healthy and motivated.

As in other companies, other staff are being redeployed or working from home.

Mr Morgan, however, praised his workforce adding: “NHS staff are at their best in circumstances like this.”

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