Grantham Journal letter: Unwell staff are nursing patients at Grantham Hospital

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If you were to have a very ill parent hospitalised with a low immune system and a severe infection, would you feel at all comfortable knowing that those who are treating and looking after them were too unwell to be at work, yet felt they had no other choice but to be at work? No. You wouldn’t.

My mother is a regular ‘guest’ at Grantham Hospital, where she can always expect fantastic care from professional, warm and empathic staff.

Regardless of their position or status the staff there work to support and care for their patients and so it astounds me to see staff who are full of cold and far too ill to be working on the wards.

When I challenged why they were working when they should be at home being looked after, rather than looking after others in a hospital, one said to me, “I’ve had my three days this year. Any more and I’m up against the Trust. I’m not allowed to be ill any more.” At this point it’s important to note that this statement wasn’t made with any resentment but instead, a real disappointment and sadness that they felt that they had no other option but to be at work as they were too scared to do otherwise.

Yes, I understand that there must be HR policies to ensure staff sickness is kept to a minimum but when someone is genuinely ill, should they not be allowed to be at home, given time to recover and then asked to return? I for one certainly don’t expect someone who is coughing and sneezing all over the place looking after my poorly Mum!

Wake up United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and realise that your people are your strength and so should be looked after properly. It’s time to review your HR policies in relation to sickness to protect the patients and to support your staff.

Drew Walsh

Hickling, nr Melton Mowbray