Student paramedic Emma Scott-Spivey is speaking out about ‘dangerous levels’ of staffing and inadequate PPE in her workplace as Covid cases continue to surge
Image: Chris Booth Photos)
A trainee paramedic has blasted Boris Johnson for ‘holding his nerve’ against Covid, saying: “We’re barely holding our heads above water.”
NHS worker, Emma Scott-Spivey, from Thirsk, told how she was reduced to tears of frustration because of the stress they are under
“The NHS is at breaking point and so are many of it’s staff,” she told The Mirror.
The 23-year-old student paramedic and psychiatric care assistant is pleading for better PPE saying they are “sitting ducks” for the virus with just paper masks to use as protection.
She told how a note from her employers this week said: “There is an outbreak of Covid…You have been identified as working on there from 29/12 and require a PCR test. You can continue to work if you are NOT symptomatic…”
Chris Booth Photos)
She responded: “We are in the midst of a staffing crisis. We are told to work whilst awaiting PCR results because we can’t afford to lose any more staff.
“But in reality, many of my patients can’t afford to catch Covid.
“Don’t believe anyone who says the NHS is coping because we are begging for mercy.
“Staff everywhere are crying out for help and we are either not being heard or being called liars.
“We are at dangerous levels of staffing as people are dropping like flies.
“But we are not alone in this though, my friends who work for the NHS all over the country have the same experience.”
Explaining why she was so distressed last week, the student paramedic, who also works at a psychiatric inpatient facility for the NHS in Yorkshire, said: “I got in and staff numbers were reduced to 50 per cent.
“We were having to use staff from other areas to come and help us which is fantastic but these are acutely unwell psychiatric patients who require specialist care. They can’t be met by just anybody.
Chris Booth Photos)
A staff member said she had a headache and then tested positive so had to go home. So I was the only regular member of staff on the whole ward. I’m just a healthcare assistant not a nurse but I was the only one who knew any of the patients.”
About the lack of PPE and facilities she said: “Staff and patients are just sitting ducks for Covid. We are taking new admissions and we ask the patients to isolate for the first four days they are on the ward, so we can get swabs from them before they are released into the general population.
“The problem with that is, that we have only one isolation bay and that was being used for covid positive admissions.
“This meant new admissions were having to go and isolate with Covid positive patients – which was absolutely ludicrous.
“They are coming from the community and we are giving them Covid! I would be terrified if my loved one was being put at risk like this.
“I spent six hours one night in an isolation bay with three Covid + patients. We were in close proximity with no air flow. My only protection was a paper mask and a plastic apron.
“It’s only a matter of time before I get it. I give it a week before I’m off isolating.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.