As the number of new coronavirus infections hit a record high, more than 90 UK care operators announced a “red” alert
Due to the spread of the Omicron strain, there are currently more than 11,000 nursing home workers unable to work. The shortage of staff makes it difficult for the British department to respond, and the infection has delayed discharge.
Government data shows that across England, 9.4% of nursing home employees temporarily leave work, and about 3% of employees self-isolate due to the new crown virus. Although the number may be higher, it is underestimated due to festive periods and bank holiday weekends.
This situation has forced more than 90 care operators to declare “Red” Be alert, which means they do not have staff to meet the needs of patients. The shortage of PCR tests has exacerbated this situation, delaying workers’ access to test results and forcing them to isolate themselves at home for longer than needed.
Barchester is one of the largest nursing home operators in the UK, operating 250 institutions, and it warned that its 105 nursing homes are facing a new crown virus outbreak. According to government guidelines, nursing homes with active outbreaks cannot accept discharges, creating a backlog and preventing the struggling NHS from clearing beds.
Staff shortages forced nursing agencies to provide temporary employees with up to £80 (US$108.31) per hour—four times the normal cost—and caused families to dig out employees from other providers at the last minute.
“The spread of Omicron across the country will cause more nursing homes to explode, putting tremendous pressure on the already affected group of employees, and meaning that those who need care will not get it,” Said Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Nursing Forum.
To address this situation, Mike Padgham, a nurse in Yorkshire, called on the British government to establish a “Volunteer Army” It is possible to fill retired nurses, doctors and nursing staff on shifts in a short period of time.
Despite the poor condition of nursing homes, Bachester’s CEO Pete Calvilli said that the virus did not cause serious illness and death in most residents, and most only showed signs of “Mild or cold-like symptoms.”
You can share this story on social media: