A junior doctor has revealed he was ‘taken aback’ by the number of young patients without pre-existing conditions now being treated in hospitals for coronavirus.
Dr Yousef Eltuhamy, who works in an intensive care unit at a hospital in
Dr Yousef Eltuhamy, who works in an intensive care unit at a hospital in London, described being surprised by the number of patients in their 40s and 50s being admitted into hospital with coronavirus
Dr Eltuhamy described how the year had been ‘really difficult’ for staff on the frontline and said NHS workers were being ‘stretched really thin’ following an increase in admissions.
He told the programme: ‘Honestly it’s been really difficult. Not just for me but all of the colleagues I’ve spoken to across the NHS. It’s been really tough.
‘Every time I start my shift, I walk into my intensive care unit and I’m just greeted with a sight that takes me aback every time.
‘Row upon row of patients extremely unwell, all with the same awful virus, all severely critically unwell and looking to me and my colleagues to help them get better.
‘That pressure is felt not just in intensive care, it’s felt in A&E, it’s felt on the wards, it’s felt in primary care as well.
‘Seeing things get worse, seeing cases go up, seeing admissions go up just makes me feel very anxious about the future.’
He added: ‘There are massive challenges and I think everyone is doing their absolute best to maximise capacity, to utilise the resources that we do have as best as we can but unfortunately there are shortages of staff, there are people that are off sick.
‘It is extremely difficult and everyone is stretched really thin.’
The junior doctor went on to say that the approval of the new AstraZeneca vaccine was ‘fantastic news’ but change was needed on the ground ‘as soon as possible’.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast the junior doctor said it had been ‘really difficult’ for staff on the frontline and said NHS workers were being ‘stretched really thin’
Dr Eltuhamy said the pressure was felt not just in intensive care units but also in A&E and in the wards
Dame Donna Kinnair, the chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said retaining nurses was likely to be an issue
He continued: ‘It’s really fantastic news. I’m due to get my own Pfizer vaccine tomorrow which I’m really looking forward to.
‘I think vaccines are the way out of this pandemic but I think that the pressure now is the strain on hospitals and we know that admissions go up after cases go up so I don’t know how soon an impact will be felt but we really need to see a change on the ground as soon as possible.’
His comments were echoed by Dame Donna Kinnair, the chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, who said that while she hoped the public’s support of healthcare workers during the pandemic would help recruitment, retaining nurses was likely to be an issue.
Speaking on the show she said: ‘This has been designated as one of the toughest years in the history of the NHS, and therefore nurses have been working flat out, relentlessly, since March when this pandemic was declared and actually that will take its toll on people.
A volunteer is administered the new coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University
‘I’m hoping I can keep those nurses already there in nursing wanting to continue because many of them have told us already that they’re considering leaving the profession.’
Earlier today it was revealed that Britain could vaccinate 24million people against coronavirus by Easter after the game-changing Oxford University/ AstraZeneca jab was approved this morning.
In a massive boost to ending the pandemic within months, the UK medical regulator green-lit the vaccine, which is cheap, easy to transport to care homes and provides 70 per cent immunity after 21 days.
Regulators are now recommending a single dose is given to as many vulnerable people as possible to speed up the roll-out.
Britain has already ordered 100million doses and injections are due to start on Monday, but ministers now face the mammoth challenge of trying to vaccinate two million people a week to curb the spread of a highly-infectious mutant strain racing across the country.
The announcement comes after Britain yesterday recorded more than 53,000 coronavirus cases in the worst day on record and just hours before No10 announces the latest shake-up of the tiered lockdown system.