An A&E nurse has criticised the UK governement over lacking supplies of protective equipment after her daughter went to bed “sobbing and begging” her not to go to work.
Kate, who did not want her surname to be published, tweeted the health secretary on Friday saying her eight-year-old daughter had tearfully pleaded that she did not want her mother to die, using words she said “broke” her.
“Dear Matt Hancock – this is my daughter – who I put to bed tonight sobbing and begging me not work in A&E – her words broke me, ‘Mummy I’m only 8 and I need you – I don’t want you to die.'”
Kate said that, having moved to a more hands-on nursing role in February after 25 years with the NHS, she was “so angry” that she felt she could not reassure her daughter “without lying” about being kept safe on the job.
“I was so angry,” she said, adding: “How dare he [Matt Hancock] put us in this position.
“I can’t even reassure her without lying that I’ve got enough equipment to keep me safe at work. Actually, the reality is I’ve been going to work for weeks in a crap plastic pinny and a basic surgical mask.
“I can’t even reassure her effectively without lying that we’ve got everything that we need.”
Kate’s concerns were raised as thousands of doctors across the UK said a significant number of them were left without the protection needed against COVID-19.
Reports have said that some NHS trusts are due to totally run out of protective gowns within the next 24 to 48 hours.
A survey by the Royal College of Nursing has found half of nurses had felt under pressure to continue working without adequate protective equipment amid the pandemic.
In the meantime, Kate said she remains “careful to not expose my children to anything.”
But, she added: “They listen to the radio, news is out there, they see the 5pm briefing, they understand. They know they’re all off school because of the massive risks of corona, so it’s weighing heavily on their minds anyway.
“I’ve stopped sharing my bed with my daughter, I considered moving out, I thought ‘is that the best thing?’
“I’ve moved downstairs into the spare room, and then when I put her to bed last night she’s sobbing her little heart out.”