Frontline nurse begs government to provide PPE for "distraught" NHS staff

3 April 2020, 15:14

By Fiona Jones

This frontline nurse opened up to Shelagh Fogarty about her worries for colleagues and friends who don't have protective equipment and are "beside themselves" with fear.

NHS nurse Danielle is returning to work on Covid-19 ward tomorrow after having to self-isolate once symptoms presented.

Shelagh asked her if she felt more reassured after Matt Hancock's promise to deliver 45 million pieces of PPE to NHS staff and also today's opening of NHS Nightingale.

Danielle replied, "It's good that the hospital has opened because it's created more capacity for patients and I know that patients are going to have beds and equipment and a place to go.

"What I don't feel reassured about is the comments over the personal protective equipment. This is something that has been a problem for people on the frontline." She shared that while she's been fortunate to have adequate equipment she has many friends who are "absolutely distraught" that they are not getting equipment on the frontline.

"We're already risking our health and our lives with the correct equipment, without that equipment, without that there is a massive risk to our health.

NHS nurse Danielle says frontline staff are "beside themselves" with worry
NHS nurse Danielle says frontline staff are "beside themselves" with worry. Picture: PA

"We keep getting told tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow and that turns into the next day. I'm not getting any reassurance that actually this personal protective equipment is going to be delivered to the frontline where it is very very much needed."

Danielle said her colleagues and friends who are working without the correct equipment with patients who have confirmed coronavirus are "beside themselves" with worry for themselves, their patients and their families.

"I am so concerned about them and I want to raise it with the nation and I want the people in power to do something about this because we've been hearing for weeks and weeks that we're going to get it and we don't. I actually find it quite shameful that I have to come on the radio and beg for the equipment to keep us and our families safe."

Danielle shared that people haven't even got masks - she knows a care company that were delivered 300 single-use masks and they see 24,000 patients a week.

She confirmed her colleagues and friends are going into situations with a Covid patient dressed in the "unacceptable" basics of a normal mask, gloves and a plastic pinny.

"Without the NHS and social care staff there is no way we can get through this crisis and I don't think it's too much to ask that we have the tools to do our job safely."

Danielle shared the tragic news that today nurse Aimee O’Rourke has lost her life after treating coronavirus patients on the front line.