ALMOST a tenth of staff at York Hospital have been unable to go to work recently because of the coronavirus crisis.

Hospital bosses say 8-9 per cent of the workforce has been absent in recent weeks, partly because of sickness but also because some staff have been shielding and unable to work from home.

Other staff have been required to isolate due to living with someone who is symptomatic, said a spokeswoman for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

She said the situation over staff absence at York Hospital fluctuated, and it would be higher in some areas than others.

She revealed that the trust’s community teams were meeting increased demand in response to Covid-19, as expected, and a number of staff from across the organisation had been redeployed to support the service.

However, a swabbing service for staff and their family members had a 99 per cent turnaround time within 24 hours, and this had enabled a large number of staff to return to work prior to the national standard of seven or 14 days self-isolation.

“Nevertheless as part of our Covid-19 planning we have a contingency plan for a higher rate of staff sickness,” she said.

Her comments came after a source had contacted The Press to claim that almost half the hospital’s community response team was off, leaving remaining colleagues struggling to see all the Covid-19 patients out in the community.