THE managing director of Herefordshire's NHS has said Covid has been a "perfect storm" in recent weeks and has "wreaked havoc".

Jane Ives, managing director of the Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs Hereford County Hospital, said staffing numbers and patients pathways were being badly affected.

In a report for April's trust board meeting she said the overall picture was "a very challenging one".

"Covid continues to wreak havoc across our patient pathways and staffing numbers," she said.

"The impact of two years of sustained pressure on our staff is clear in our staff turnover figures.

"For context these are at the same or lower level than other ICS (integrated care systems) organisations."

As of April 5, the trust, which also runs community hospitals, was treating 44 patients with Covid – up from just 12 on March 5.

She said that Covid had created a "perfect storm" in recent weeks, with staff vacancies from Covid doubling in 28 days.

She said that while most patients are admitted with Covid rather than because of it, emergency pathways are slow because of infection prevention control measures.

The report also showed staff turnover hit 12 per cent in February 2022, above the standard 10 percent and up from nine per cent in April 2021.

"Our staff survey results have been published, and whilst they show a deterioration in some areas from last year, they benchmark very well nationally and have seen good improvement in areas that we have been targeting for improvement," she added.

"Whilst there is a lot to be proud of there is no room for complacency and improving the experience of our staff is a key responsibility for the leadership team and we will be looking to improve further."

On top of that, continuing high numbers of medically fit for discharge patients cannot leave due to gaps in Homefirst and homecare.

"That said, we have continued to perform well for our cancer patients and our delivery of the faster diagnosis standard (28 days from referral to diagnosis) nearly met the 75 per cent target in February," she added.