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Over 100 health staff ‘unavailable’ due to covid-19

Over 100 health staff ‘unavailable’ due to covid-19

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Over 100 health staff ‘unavailable’ due to covid-19


Around one in ten heath workers are currently absent, with more than 130 "unavailable due to covid-19", the Health Minister has revealed.

Deputy Richard Renouf told States Members the absence rate across the Health Department was at around 9.5% on Monday, with a total of 288 staff absent.

While the majority – 134 – were said to be “unavailable due to covid-19”, 66 others are on sickness absence and 88 are on leave.

It is unclear if the 134 staff in question are frontline workers and if they have contracted the virus or if they are simply self-isolating or shielding due to being vulnerable. Express has asked the government for this detail, and is awaiting a response.

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Pictured: The Health Minister said 66 health staff are on sickness leave.

The Health Minister also gave an update about current vacancy rates in the Department, indicating that they stand at 6.5% for registered nurses, 4.6% for healthcare assistants and 10.4% for other health professionals. 

Deputy Richard Renouf then went on to explain that staff to patient ratios are mostly monitored on shift-by-shift basis with use of an electronic roster.

He said that, outside of a pandemic situation, there would normally be 69% of registered nurses and 35% of healthcare assistants.

He added that, with the department having only the registered nurses that are in Jersey, the island’s Chief Nurse, Rose Naylor, has had to implement a number of measures to manage the nursing workforce in the event of a significant peak in demand.

This has included a call to retired registered nurses to return to their roles, listing registered nurses with critical care experience who can be called upon to support the intensive care team, training staff to become part of the extended intensive care team, and officially employing third-year students as part of the workforce. 

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