ALMOST one in five doctors are out of work as coronavirus emergencies escalate this week, new figures have revealed.
Some 27 A&E nurses from ONE hospital are also ill, which shows the real impact of the crisis on the NHS.
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This comes as government faces criticism for failing to provide enough Covid-19 tests or personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line NHS personnel.
A London doctor says that staff “fall like flies” during the epidemic.
A survey of more than 2,500 doctors, conducted by the Sunday Times and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), found that 18% of them are on sick leave.
That’s three times the 5.7% absenteeism rate for doctors cited by Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week.
Four in five of these unemployed people blamed the coronavirus.
REVEALED CRISIS SCALE
Nearly 30 nurses working in the A&E department of Southend Hospital in Essex are also said to have fallen ill.
A nurse is in intensive care after hospital staff said they were “petrified” of the PPE rationing.
Nationally, central London and the north-east are the most affected areas. According to the survey, around 30% of doctors in the two regions are not working.
One in three was absent at some point during the pandemic.
Professor Alison Pittard, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in Critical Care, who represents 3,500 doctors in critical care, said: “I know there are departments where up to 50% of their medical staff cannot work because of it. “
The investigation also found that, despite weeks of warnings, almost one in four physicians had difficulty obtaining appropriate or sufficient PPE.
The coronavirus has already killed eight NHS staff, including two mothers of three in their thirties.
NHS WORKERS DIE
He collapsed and died after working 12 hours.
After returning from work Friday after a night shift, John complained of headaches and high temperature throughout the night, his mother told the Mail on Sunday.
His mother says that he was not wearing the correct protective clothing at work.
A mother of three, Mrs. O’Rourke, 38, died at Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, where she worked.
Areema Nasreen, 36, died in the intensive care unit of the hospital where she had worked earlier this week.
Areema, who leaves children aged eight, 10 and 17, qualified as a nurse in January of last year and worked in the intensive care unit at Walsall Manor Hospital.
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She wanted to be a nurse since her teens, after taking care of her baby who suffered a stroke.
Five doctors also died after contracting a coronavirus, including Dr. Alfa Sa’adu, 68, mental health nurse Thomas Harvey and Dr. Amged El-Hawrani, 55.
Harvey, 57, said he was concerned about the lack of protective equipment for front-line workers, according to his family.
She was an experienced nurse, who had dedicated more than 20 years of her life to the NHS before her tragic death on Sunday March 29.
“SO LET DOWN”
His 19-year-old daughter Tamira says he has been “abandoned” and that his death could have been prevented.
Dr Rinesh Parmar of the Association of Physicians said that the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) remained a major problem.
But Whitehall officials believe the “maximum” number of cases and deaths could occur in the next fortnight, due to concerns about the ability of the NHS to cope.