Terrified NHS staff beg for PPE as eight more health workers die from coronavirus – The Sun

TERRIFIED frontline NHS staff begged for protective gear last night — as eight more health workers died from Covid 19.

Nurses Sara Trollope, 51, Julie Omar, 52, and Gareth Roberts, 63, were among the latest victims.

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So too were care home worker Elsie Sazuze, 44, and Filipino hospital porter Oscar King Jr. The deaths took the total for NHS and care workers to 39.

Yesterday — as the daily toll of 737 took the overall number of British deaths to 10,612 — one expert warned Britain was on course to be Europe’s worst-hit.

The Royal College of Nursing union told members they had the right to refuse to work if they felt unsafe. And nurses who lost a colleague wrote to hospital bosses demanding better protection.

Their two-page document, seen by The Sun, details the fear at Watford General Hospital since John Alagos, 23, died at home after a gruelling 12-hour shift.

The letter adds: “The loss of our beloved colleague John Alagos put us in an inconsolable state.

The cause of his death is still unknown and that makes us all worried to work further in the ward with these minimal PPE.”


One nurse, who did not want to be named, claimed they were having to reuse a plastic apron and mask.

The medic said: “John was not wearing a proper mask — none of us are, even since he died.

"Two days ago they even stopped giving us the full gowns that we were being provided with before.

“All we have now is a plastic apron which covers our neck to our knee. And we have a mask but it isn’t good enough.

It doesn’t protect us properly. We should have a proper mask which covers our nose to our chin, but we don’t.

“It is like lessons have not been learned, even though we lost John to this illness. I’m very anxious. We all are.


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"We’re worried we’ll get it and suffer ourselves or pass it on to our families.”

Asked about the claims, chief nurse Tracey Carter insisted new guidance meant gowns were needed only for working in high risk areas.

She went on: “I can assure staff the personal protective equipment guidelines we have in place across our trust follow national guidelines and, in some places, go above the level of protection required.”

A survey for the Royal College of Surgeons of England found large regional differences on PPE — with half those in the Thames Valley saying they had enough but only a third of those in the North West feeling safe.

In correspondence seen by The Sunday Telegraph, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey warned on Thursday it only had enough long-sleeved disposable gowns to last three days.

Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust warned of a “very limited supply” despite doing “everything it can to secure further stocks”.

We’re worried we’ll get it and suffer ourselves or pass it on to our families

And NHS Providers warned the national situation was “hand to mouth”. Doctors also told of supply issues with three key drugs.

One consultant said his hospital had just five days’ worth of propofol, a sedative given to those on ventilation, while reserves were also drying up of the painkiller fentanyl and the circulation-boosting noradrenaline.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock did not apologise over PPE and denied the Government had been slow to stockpile crucial kit.

He insisted: “We now have record amounts of PPE that’s been put out into the system but until everyone gets the PPE they need then we won’t rest.”

He said it was impossible to set a date by which all frontline workers would get what they needed.

And he added: “It’s impossible because the quest is to get the right PPE to the right people on the front line at the right time across many millions of people across the NHS and social care.

“I’m glad to say that effort is moving in the right direction.” Mr Hancock hailed the “enormous effort” of those currently trying to source more gowns.

He said: “They often don’t get thanks, the procurement experts, because they’re not on the front line.

"But, by God, do we need them to make sure that we can get all that PPE.” Mr Hancock also pledged to investigate the exact cause of every NHS worker’s death.

He added: “We are looking into each circumstance to understand as much as possible how they caught the virus — whether that’s at work, outside of work, and making sure we learn as much as we possibly can.

“The admiration for those who put themselves in harm’s way is incredibly high.

“They are unbelievable and therefore it’s of course incumbent on us to make sure we get to the bottom of each individual case.” Of the UK’s overall death toll, he said yesterday was a “sombre day”.


He continued: “The fact that over 10,000 people have now lost their lives to this invisible killer demonstrates just how serious this coronavirus is and why the national effort that everyone is engaged in is so important.

“Their grief is our grief and their stories will not be forgotten.”

Meanwhile Sir Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, admitted the UK’s death rate could outstrip that of even Italy and Spain.

He said: “The UK is likely to be certainly one of the worst, if not the worst, affected country in Europe.” Last night Italy’s death toll stood at 19,899 as a result of 156,363 infections.

Mr Hancock said: “I think that sort of comment merely reinforces the importance of the central message which is that people should stay at home because that protects the NHS and saves lives.

“The future of this virus is unknowable as yet because it depends on the behaviour of millions of people and the Great British public.

“The good news is that so far we have managed to start to see a flattening of the curve because people are following the social distancing measures by and large.”

A NEW app will let coronavirus sufferers anonymously alert people they have been in recent contact with.

The NHS is currently testing it “with the world’s leading tech companies” it was announced yesterday.

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