How Lancashire health and care staff have been affected by working through the pandemic

Hospital and care home staff in Lancashire are suffering from the “trauma” of more than a year of dealing with Covid and its devastating effects.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 6:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 6:28 pm

That was the message to a group of senior NHS figures in the county, who heard that the pandemic had taken its toll on the health of some of those who have been on the frontline throughout, helping others.

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A meeting of the Lancashire and South Cumbria Strategic Commissioning Committee was told that the impact of the crisis was showing through in the two sectors that have been hit hardest by it.

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A year on the pandemic frontline has taken its toll on some Lancashire health and care staff

“The regulated care sector [is] very fragile – both in relation to [its] financial position and some of the trauma that those staff have experienced,” explained Kathryn Lord, director of quality at East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

“We have lost large numbers of residents very quickly in some of those [care] homes, so bereavement support and support around resilience is [being provided to] staff. I think it’s important that we don’t forget that.”

The committee heard that a similar situation was facing some hospital workers. The absence rate across Lancashire and South Cumbria’s NHS trusts is declining and, at 7.4 percent, is in line with the national average.

“However, it’s not just the number of staff who are off, it’s the reason that [they] are off,” Ms. Lord said.

“The highest reports [are] in relation to stress, anxiety and depression. So the organisations have established a resilience hub and they are trying to identify staff who have been off for significant periods of time, to work on an individual basis with those epeople.

“Again, [it is] concerning. but good that they can identify [those needing help] and work through it.”