Covid: Sheffield nurse reveals pressures facing NHS staff due to workers off sick

A clinical nurse specialist based in Sheffield has revealed the issues faced by NHS workers due to “high volumes of staff off sick” during the Covid pandemic.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 1:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 2:15 pm

Donna Hales, aged 57, a nurse for almost 40 years, said: “It’s really exhausting…nurses will always roll our sleeves up but we are starting to see evidence of PTSD (and) other mental health difficulties.

“People are really scared to be doing this again…I just don’t know how everybody’s going to cope.”

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A nurse in Sheffield has revealed how staff sickness is affecting NHS workers (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A union representative from a NHS hospital trust in South Yorkshire said staff are experiencing burnouts due to lack of workers and the situation is worse “in terms of absences” than in January 2021.

“I worry about the longer-term mental impact of staff having gone through so much pressure for such a long period of time too,” the union representative said.

According to Ms Hales, many NHS workers are quitting due to stress.

“The long-term knock-on effects on an individual’s health can be really profound and people then do choose to walk and change careers because of it,” she said.

“There’s no doubt about it in my mind that people are gonna say, ‘I don’t need to do this’.”

Royal College of Nursing Director for England, Patricia Marquis, emphasised on the importance of the Government being “honest with the public” about the pressure on health service.

“They are being spread thinner and thinner and we are hearing of many being reduced to tears because they are not able to deliver the care to their patients,” she said.