A nurse who cared for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he had COVID-19 has resigned over the “lack of respect” the government has shown for National Health Service (NHS) and healthcare workers.
Lead intensive care nurse Jenny McGee at St. Thomas Hospital in London told a Channel 4 documentary that healthcare workers were “not getting the respect and now pay that we deserve.”
“I’m just sick of it. So I’ve handed in my resignation,” McGee told The Year Britain Stopped documentary, which is about the COVID-19 situation in Britain and will be broadcast on May 24.
McGee was referring to the government’s 1% pay rise proposal for NHS staff this year, which trade unions have criticized.
McGee also revealed that Johnson’s staff had asked her to take part in the “clap for the NHS” photo opportunity alongside the prime minister, but she “wanted to stay out of it.”
McGee also criticized the government’s handling of the pandemic, describing it as “very upsetting.”
“Lots of nurses felt that the government hadn’t led very effectively – the indecisiveness, so many mixed messages,” McGee said.
McGee also described the situation in her hospital last December as “a cesspool of COVID.”
“This time there was more than the first surge. The nurses are stretched even more… At that point, I don’t know how to describe the horrendousness of what we were going through. We were desperate,” McGee said.
Deputy Head of Health at Trade Union Unison Sara Gorton warned that more staff could resign “unless the prime minister sees sense over pay.”
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