NHS staff are ‘so burnt out they can’t eat’ as Covid-19 cases fill up wards


n ICU nurse working in London has told of the struggles faced by health workers “too burnt out to eat” because of the mounting pressures on hospitals. 

Ameera Sheikh, 28, who is a Unite union representative and works at an NHS hospital in the city, told of the awful strain being placed on colleagues across the country by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Some (patients) are openly admitting that they’re breaking the rules, some people are just giving some vague responses.

“This is being told to me by friends who work in the emergency department, not only in London but across the UK,” she told the PA news agency. 


Ameera Sheikh

/ PA )

Her comments came as Britain recorded its highest daily number of Covid cases and deaths to date – with 1,325 new fatalities and 68,053 infections confirmed overnight.

She added: “During and after the first wave, a lot of staff had handed in their resignation, and that’s across many hospitals in the UK.

“A lot of people were just about coping in the first wave – because of the way that they were treated, because of what they saw, the trauma, and not being supported well enough by management – they left.

“So now we’re seeing a massive surge, being in the second wave, and it’s worse than the first wave.”

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The 28-year-old said: “It’s so stressful, my colleagues aren’t coping very well,” adding, “Some of them are so burnt out that they can’t eat, they can’t sleep, they can’t bring themselves to come into work. How has our Government failed us, and had all these months to prepare?”

Ms Sheikh added that space at work was becoming more limited as a result of the “surge” in cases because multiple beds have been moved to single rooms leaving nurses no room to operate. 

In other cases she said staff are now “doubled and tripled on ICU wards” with some nurses forced to monitor four patients on their own.

She also spoke of the lack of PPE supplies in hospitals and called it a “concern.”

“After all these months some of my colleagues across the UK are still wearing expired FFP3 masks,” she claimed.


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