NHS staff on Covid frontline ‘so burnt out they can’t eat’, says exhausted nurse

An NHS nurse has hit out against the government, who have "failed" the health service following a rise in coronavirus cases across the country.

Intensive Care Unit nurse Ameera Sheikh went on to say that nurses up and down the country are so "burnt out they can't eat," after a "major incident" was declared in London on Friday.

The 28-year-old Unite union representative continued, adding that patients in hospitals have admitted to breaking the strict national lockdown rules that were implemented in a bid to contain the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the country under stricter measures earlier in the week, following the discovery of a much stronger and transmittable.

"Some [patients] are openly admitting that they're breaking the rules, some people are just giving some vague responses.

"This is being told to me by friends who work in the emergency department, not only in London but across the UK," she told the PA news agency.

Ameera went on to say: "During and after the first wave, a lot of staff had handed in their resignation, and that's across many hospitals in the UK.

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"A lot of people were just about coping in the first wave – because of the way that they were treated, because of what they saw, the trauma, and not being supported well enough by management – they left.

"So now we're seeing a massive surge, being in the second wave, and it's worse than the first wave."

The disgruntled nurse added: "It's so stressful, my colleagues aren't coping very well. Some of them are so burnt out that they can't eat, they can't sleep, they can't bring themselves to come into work.

"How has our Government failed us, and had all these months to prepare?"

Ms Sheikh added that space across hospitals was becoming more limited as a result of the "surge" in coronavirus cases.

It comes after the UK saw the highest toll in coronavirus deaths since the pandemic took hold in March 2020, with a further 1,325 deaths being recorded on Friday.

Addressing the limited spaces in hospitals, Ameera shared: "In our ICU usually all our patients have a bed in their own room, so it's just one bed in one room," she said.

"But sometimes you're seeing two beds in one room and you're seeing a bed in between where two beds are… which then makes it a tighter squeeze.

"On top of that, you're seeing nurses who are now doubled and tripled on the ICU. Usually, the nursing to patient ratio is one to one, but you're seeing one to two, one to three, one to four."

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