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Nurses with long-COVID are being abandoned instead of supported

Nurses with long-COVID are facing a ‘postcode lottery’ of care and need better support from NHS and employers
Craig Davidson spoke on behalf of fellow nurse Jenni Murphy, who was unable to attend due to long-COVID

Nurses with long-COVID are facing a ‘postcode lottery’ of care and need better support from NHS and employers

Nurses with long-COVID are being sacked instead of supported and say they are facing ‘a postcode lottery’ of care.

Nurses who caught COVID-19 working on the front line during the pandemic told of how they have been left living with daily symptoms including exhaustion, breathlessness, tinnitus, brain fog and insomnia.

But while some are being supported by employers to return to work, others are being ‘abandoned to an uncertain fate’.

Nurses are the most likely occupational group to catch COVID-19

Nurses with long-COVID are facing a ‘postcode lottery’ of care and need better support from NHS and employers

Craig Davidson spoke on behalf of fellow nurse Jenni Murphy, who was unable to attend due to long-COVID
Craig Davidson spoke on behalf of fellow nurse Jenni Murphy,
who was unable to attend due to long-COVID Picture: John Houlihan

Nurses with long-COVID are being sacked instead of supported and say they are facing ‘a postcode lottery’ of care.

Nurses who caught COVID-19 working on the front line during the pandemic told of how they have been left living with daily symptoms including exhaustion, breathlessness, tinnitus, brain fog and insomnia.

But while some are being supported by employers to return to work, others are being ‘abandoned to an uncertain fate’.

Nurses are the most likely occupational group to catch COVID-19

Nurses shared their personal long-COVID stories as RCN Congress debated a motion to campaign for nursing staff with the condition to receive equitable and effective support from the NHS and employers.

Craig Davidson told Congress on behalf of fellow nurse Jenni Murphy, who has long-COVID and was unable to attend: ‘My overall treatment and experience has made me feel alone, unwanted, uncared for, isolated, abandoned, like a nuisance or inconvenience and like I don’t matter.’

‘I have had to fight to be heard, fight to be believed, fight to be treated like an individual and it has left me feeling like I have to prove my illness, prove my worth and go against my better judgement and return to work before 100% fit or lose my job,’ Mr Davidson quoted her as saying.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates the number of healthcare workers with long-COVID to be around 156,000, with nurses the most likely occupational group to catch COVID-19.

Paul Jebb

The Long COVID Nurses and Midwives UK (LCNMUK) action group estimates there are at least 10,000 nurses in England alone currently experiencing long-COVID.

Support for the motion comes as the RCN called on the government to significantly increase its investment in long-COVID research and care for patients, to prevent health inequalities being exacerbated.

Tabling the motion and speaking for the RCN’s nursing management and leadership forum, Paul Jebb said: ‘Given that inadequate PPE is the main reason why nurses contracted COVID-19, and then long-COVID, with some not getting PPE until June 2020, people should be given full pay.

‘The RCN needs to be much more vocal on behalf of the nurses, no matter where they work. Managers and HR department often have little knowledge about how to get nurses back to work, and they need support to do it, if you want to retain their talent.’


Find out more

Long COVID Nurses and Midwives UK Action Group

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