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Are you a healthcare worker worried about hospitals this winter? We want to hear your story

We want to get a sense of the difficulties staff are facing as hospitals fill up. Tell us your story.

THE IMPACT OF Covid-19 is being keenly felt in the health service with the number of Covid-related absences almost doubling in less than two weeks. 

At a HSE briefing on 21 October, chief operations officer Anne O’Connor said that the number of Covid-related absences from work was 1,823 staff members. Speaking yesterday on RTÉ’s This Week programme, the HSE’s chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said the number was now about 3,500. 

These absences relate to staff members who have either tested positive for Covid-19 or are a close contact of someone who has. 

The effect on the health service is the same for both, depriving hospitals of vital staff at a time when overcrowded hospitals are under increasing pressure with admissions.

This has led to Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) repeating its insistence that the provision of Covid-19 booster jabs to healthcare staff be approved by NIAC and rolled out immediately.  

But even ahead of any such move the HSE is expressing concern that more staff members becoming absent, including specialised staff, may lead to outpatient services or scheduled appointments being cancelled. 

O’Connor has said that HSE staff are currently “working to continue to provide services in a very difficult situation” ahead of what’s expected to be a difficult winter. 

The Journal wants to get an idea of how staff are being affected by staff absences in busy hospitals. 

Please reach out if you: 

  • Are working in a hospital and have experienced first-hand the pressures healthcare staff after working under
  • Wish to describe the pressure your hospital is under and your concerns for the forthcoming months. 
  • Have been affected by Covid-related absences from work.

We will share the stories in a future article. Please include your name and which county you are from along with your story. 

Please tell us if you wish to remain anonymous or use your first name only in the piece.

To share your story, please send 250-300 words (or more if you like) to with the subject line ‘Hospital pressures’.