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Nurses are exhausted and critical care near capacity, MPs told

Critical care matron Elaine Thorpe tells MPs that nurses and healthcare staff are struggling to cope as NHS braces for significant rise in Omicron admissions

Critical care matron Elaine Thorpe tells MPs that nurses and healthcare staff are struggling to cope as NHS braces for significant rise in Omicron admissions

Nursing staff are already physically and mentally exhausted as the NHS is braced for a ‘significant’ rise in admissions from Omicron, a critical care matron has warned.

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust critical care matron Elaine Thorpe said her trust’s intensive care units were nearly at capacity, and that a number of healthcare and admin staff had tested positive for COVID.

Nursing staff already mentally and physically exhausted, all-party hearing of MPs told

‘While there has

Critical care matron Elaine Thorpe tells MPs that nurses and healthcare staff are struggling to cope as NHS braces for significant rise in Omicron admissions

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust critical care matron Elaine Thorpe spoke to MPs at an all-party coronavirus hearing on the impact of Omicron
Critical care matron Elaine Thorpe spoke to MPs at an all-party coronavirus hearing on the impact of Omicron

Nursing staff are already physically and mentally exhausted as the NHS is braced for a ‘significant’ rise in admissions from Omicron, a critical care matron has warned.

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust critical care matron Elaine Thorpe said her trust’s intensive care units were nearly at capacity, and that a number of healthcare and admin staff had tested positive for COVID.

Nursing staff already mentally and physically exhausted, all-party hearing of MPs told

‘While there has been huge support and investment from our organisation in terms of having enough equipment and the best resources available for staff, our staff are really struggling,’ Ms Thorpe told MPs at an all-party group on coronavirus hearing on the impact of the Omicron variant.

‘They are mentally exhausted, physically exhausted and they haven’t processed the moral injury of before.’

Ms Thorpe said many staff were also worried about the impact any rise in demand due to the new variant would have on patient care. ‘The nurse to patient ratios should be 1:1 on intensive care. No nurse, no doctor wants to look after more than the number of patients that they should,’ she added.

‘They want to do their very best for their patients, but when we go into situations like this, we can’t give the care that we want for our patients. You can see it is in the eyes of the nurses, the doctors and the physios they are terrified of having to do that again.’

Government urged to value nursing staff to stem NHS exodus

England’s chief medical officer Chris Witty warned ministers at a virtual cabinet meeting on Tuesday to be prepared for a significant increase in hospitalisations from Omicron. The government has brought forward the target for giving every adult in England a booster jab by a month in a bid to halt the spread of the variant.

Royal College of Emergency Medicine president Katherine Henderson, who also spoke at the all-party group hearing, urged the government to value nursing staff.

She said: ‘At the moment nursing staff are leaving the NHS or are moving to less pressured posts.

‘We have broken our nursing staff nationally and if we don’t get it right with them everything is going to be much more difficult.’


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