More than 500 staff at Doncaster’s hospitals trust contracted Covid 19 during lockdown

More than 500 staff at Doncaster’s hospitals trust contracted Covid 19 during the lockdown, new figures reveal.

By David Kessen
Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 5:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 5:34 pm

Governers at the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hositals Trust were shown reports that stated 529 of Doncaster hospital trust staff caught Covid, and sickness levels were more than one in 10 at the height of the crisis.

The trust employs around 6,600 staff across all its sites, which include Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop, and the Montagu hospital in Mexborough.

Two members of staff at the trust, plaster technician Kevin Smith and consultant Dr Medhat Atalla, who both worked at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, died after contracting the virus.

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Doncaster Royal Infirmary. DRI. (Picture: CHRIS BULL HospitalD3707CB)

Levels of infection among staff had now fallen back down.

The report stated: “There has been a significant reduction in the number of symptomatic staff requiring testing with no positive test results since July 4, 2020.”

The peak of the sickness absence came in May, when just over 12 per cent of staff were off ill. Around two thirds of that, eight per cent of the trust's whole workforce, was people off with the coronavirus.

The worst hit hospital division was the medicine division, with 178 positive tests, ahead of the surgery and cancer division, with 152.

But positive tests were also recorded in the children and families division, clinical specialties division, education and research directorate, estates and facilities, executive team board, finance and healthcare contracting directorate, IT information and telecoms directorate, nursing services directorate and the performance directorate.

Richard Parker, chief executive at the trust, said: “The efforts expended by colleagues at the trust throughout the past few months have been nothing short of extraordinary and for this I share my deep appreciation. In very short order, staff have adopted new ways of working, going above and beyond each and every day, often within the constraints of heavy-duty personal protective equipment as well as stringent infection prevention and control measures.”

Measures to keep staff safe have included reconfiguring hospital sites to reduce cross-infection, installing new hygiene stations, and free staff meals and parking since early March.

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