NHS staff are cannon fodder to the government, says doctor with Covid-19

22 April 2020, 14:22 | Updated: 22 April 2020, 21:39

By Fiona Jones

NHS staff are cannon fodder to the government, says doctor with Covid-19, who has been given an apron which is "not even fit to make a sandwich with."

Osman is a junior doctor who has contracted coronavirus and wanted to reiterate to the public that medical staff working the intensive care units have adequate PPE, including masks, visors, full-sleeve gowns and gloves.

However for those working in wards with patients that have Covid but are not on ventilators, this is not the case at all, he said.

"What we're provided with is masks, most of the doctors and nurses have bought their own goggles, and an apron which one paramedic has described as not even fit to make a sandwich with," the doctor said, and compared this to France and Italy where medical staff are "properly protected."

He told Iain that in early February when the NHS were anticipating the influx of Covid, all of the medical staff were fit tested and advised on how they were supposed to dress when in contact with Covid patients.

"The dress was full face shield, FSP3 masks, full sleeve gowns and we were taught how to put them on and take them off."

Yet this guidance from Public Health England has "changed and changed and changed" as supplies have shortened.

Medical staff being trained on how to put on and remove PPE
Medical staff being trained on how to put on and remove PPE. Picture: PA

"A third to a half of the medical force have already contracted Covid, I'm one of them...and I still do not feel 100% but I am fighting on because my patients need me.

"When the public hear about full-sleeved gowns, I don't want them to assume that that's how all doctors and nurses are going to work dressed, because it's not. This is only for the intensive care doctors, even though it should be all medical staff."

Osman said his main concern is the low morale in the NHS: "A lot of the doctors and nurses wake up everyday not knowing whether this is going to be their last day.

"It's more about when Mr Hancock stands up and says the medical force should only use the appropriate PPE when required.

"Doctors are made to feel, and nurses as well because they're getting the brunt of this, essentially [like] cannon fodder. That's what's upsetting. Most of the policies are coming from management with no contact of patients."

Osman reiterated that the proper protective equipment should be available for all medical staff.