NHS Nurses "having to take chances" with PPE when treating Covid-19 patients

12 April 2020, 10:56

By Seán Hickey

Nurses who are at risk of catching coronavirus are being told to save protective equipment by only using it around patients that have tested positive.

Kate was speaking to Andrew Castle when she told him that NHS nurses are not being protected sufficiently.

The Manchester nurse said that she's exposed to "massive viral loads" as she treats confirmed and suspected cases, but she's only allowed to use protective equipment when treating those that have tested positive.

"We were being told not to wear PPE unless people are symptomatic" Kate said. She told Andrew that through this policy nurses "will get profoundly ill and end up in intensive care", putting massive strain on an already struggling NHS.

The NHS nurse was clearly agitated as she revealed that in the event of being struck down by coronavirus, these medical workers are only paid statutory sick pay.

"We were having to take chances with people" Kate said, fearing for her own health along with other nurses.

Nurses have been told only to use protective equipment when treating patients that test positive
Nurses have been told only to use protective equipment when treating patients that test positive. Picture: PA

Andrew wanted to know if Kate had been tested for coronavirus after being in contact with patients without equipment, she nearly laughed as she said she hadn't been offered a test.

"There is not enough kit" she told Andrew. Kate said that the tests are being reserved for serious cases and for nurses that have began social distancing.

Kate revealed that "the test is being offered to get you back in" to the hospital and to continue working. Andrew heard that the NHS is putting the lives of staff at risk by letting nurses treat patients without equipment.