Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS staff asked to postpone holidays due to a surge in Covid cases
Health bosses at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust have asked staff to postpone holidays after a spike in coronavirus cases across the region.
Bosses have sent an internal note asking staff to postpone holidays and work additional shifts following a surge in cases.
Staff at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust have hospital cases more than doubling week-on-week as Sunderland and South Tyneside report some of the highest infection rates in the country.
Health chiefs said there were 80 Covid-19 patients receiving hospital treatment compared with just two exactly a month before.
The message started: "The Trust is currently under extreme pressure due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.
"Many people are seriously ill and receiving intensive care support."
Bosses have asked staff if they wish to work additional shifts, with a £250 bonus for staff who could work an extra week of overtime spread over the next six weeks.
It is understood the extra shifts are through the NHSP Professionals staffing bank and are for nursing staff and allied health professionals who can take up extra shifts to support clinical areas.
The memo said: "If you are due to take annual leave but feel able to postpone this to help support the Trust's Covid-19 response, please talk to your line manager ASAP."
Those staff who can work from home were urged to do so, reducing footfall at trust sites.
The note also urged staff to look after themselves and each other.
It stated: "Thank you all for your continued hard work and incredible support to keep our patients safe.
"It certainly feels like we are entering a very difficult period, especially after the long slog of the past year."