NEARLY half of NHS worker absences in the region are Covid-related, figures have revealed.

Recent statistics showed that 44 per cent of absences were due to doctors and nurses being off sick or isolating due to the virus.

As of last Friday at 8am, Lancashire and South Cumbria had 3,126 staff off work.

According to leaked figures shared with The Independent newspaper by NHS sources, approximately 875 nurses were absent, with 425 linked to Covid.

As many as 120 doctors were off sick, with 82 of those linked to Covid.

The figures cover staff working in the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System.

According to the figures, across England more than 76,200 NHS workers were absent from work, equivalent to more than six per cent of the total workforce.

This figure included 25,293 nursing staff and 3,575 doctors.

Figures presented by the Government’s medical advisors in a briefing ahead of the new lockdown showed that the number of patients in hospitals in the Morecambe Bay health trust was at half the original peak.

An NHS England spokesperson said in a statement: “Staff absences are lower now than between April and July but, as you would expect, where community infections are high there will be an impact on the NHS and staff which is why it is vital that everyone follows the measures put in place locally as well as washing their hands, covering their face and maintaining social distancing.

It added that ‘contingency plans’ were in place to respond to a second wave of the virus.