Day: April 28, 2020

After 23 years in critical care, nothing prepared ANTHEA ALLEN for war zone at her London hospital

After 23 years in critical care, nothing prepared ANTHEA ALLEN for war zone at her London hospital


Senior sister Anthea Allen has been a nurse for well over 20 years and thought she had ‘seen it all’ in her long NHS career. Then came the coronavirus pandemic.

When it hit, she was — still is — among those in charge of the critical care unit at St George’s Hospital in South London, one of Britain’s biggest clinical teaching establishments. Now it is in the eye of the Covid-19 storm.

Even in the days before lockdown, some shops within hospitals were refusing to serve nurses in scrubs because of fear of infection. Critical care staff found themselves unable to buy biscuits or a chocolate bar to see themselves through 12-hour days.

So Sister Anthea, a mum of two, appealed to family friends. She was soon inundated with food donations. A Twitter funding page called @CriticalNhs was launched, which has raised nearly £100,000 so far.

She also began a weekly internet diary — to share with a few dozen associates. Now she has agreed to parts of her diary being published exclusively in the Mail, a gripping and deeply moving account of NHS life on the front line.

Senior sister Anthea Allen (pictured in her PPE) has been a nurse for well over 20 years and thought she had ‘seen it all’ in her long NHS career. Then came the coronavirus pandemic

WEEKS 1 & 2: THE GATHERING STORM

MARCH 19 TO APRIL 6

I’m so proud of my colleagues. Before this happened, nurses were stretched to the limit; now they are under truly immense pressure, exposing themselves daily to the threat of Covid-19.

There’s not enough room and not enough people to deal with this gathering storm, so we’re opening up other areas to care for the critically ill, and employing agency staff.

I’ve seen tears, fear and exhaustion among colleagues working long hours, skipping breaks and going the extra mile to ensure patients feel safe — all the while wearing this strange, cumbersome protective gear.

Still, there are shafts of sunlight in the gloom. On Friday, a friend dropped off a huge box of doughnuts for the nurses on my unit — within an hour they had gone!

One night, when I returned home exhausted, there was a tin of homemade chocolate brownies sitting on the doorstep with a card saying ‘Thank you, nurses’. I’ve no idea who made them, but thank you, too. A local school has emailed, offering to arrange deliveries of sandwiches.

The kindness of strangers, the spirit of the community and my very dear friends have warmed my heart. I did not expect this response — bin bags packed with biscuits, chocolate, cake, and cereal bars. We’ve had pizza, curry, homemade bread, cheese and huge baskets of fresh fruit.

The staff on critical care are being kept afloat by this support and we are sharing what has been donated.

Everyone here is performing beyond the call of duty; doctors, nurses, reception staff, ward clerks, porters, cleaners, security, nurse educators, technicians, lab workers, blood bank staff, pharmacists, dietitians and many others, including the fabulous volunteers.

One nurse said: ‘We are like the band in the film — we keep on playing while the ship goes down.’ But this ship will not sink and we will keep on keeping on.

When coronavirus hit, Sister Anthea (far right) was — still is — among those in charge of the critical care unit at St George's Hospital in South London, one of Britain's biggest clinical teaching establishments. Now it is in the eye of the Covid-19 storm

When coronavirus hit, Sister Anthea (far right) was — still is — among those in charge of the critical care unit at St George’s Hospital in South London, one of Britain’s biggest clinical teaching establishments. Now it is in the eye of the Covid-19 storm

WEEK 3: KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

APRIL 7-11

It’s like being in a sci-fi movie; staff gowned up with visors, masks and head covers. From three critical care units with a total of 30 beds, we now have 147 beds in seven areas.

Highly trained nurses who usually care for one intensive-care patient now have three to four, with helpers who are ward nurses. Many have never set foot on an intensive care unit (ICU).

It’s tough. It’s claustrophobic in the personal protective equipment (PPE). We’re always thirsty; enclosed in the same room for 12 hours, the only escape is to eat or visit the loo.

It’s raw and real, and we also have our non-Covid critical care patients. Accidents, illness, cardiac arrests, stabbings still happen.

Part of my job is nurse recruitment and the younger ones call me ‘Mama Anthea’.

I’ve become a temporary parent to some, mopping up tears and cuddling those who miss their families. I’m also proud to have recruited my daughter Claudia as our new ward clerk until she can return to university in Bristol.

It’s tough for us but tougher for the patients with no visitors and scared of this vicious virus.

WEEK 4: ‘WHEN THIS IS DONE, SO AM I’

APRIL 12-20

Attention to detail on the ICU is high on our list. I have friends who carefully label every jar in their larder because we are so conditioned to labelling drugs and equipment to ensure we are alert to expiry dates, to what a specific drug is and its dose.

We keep a diary for patients so when they recover they can know their journey. If they don’t survive, we know these diaries are a comfort to family.

We brush patients’ teeth, we change their position, we talk to them even if they are unconscious. We explain to family, we wash hair. We smuggle in a dog to visit, we put a favourite teddy in the bed.

We respect religion, race, sexuality. I have repositioned a bed to face Mecca and dropped off a Valentine’s card for an elderly patient’s wife.

Sister Anthea (pictured with her daughter Claudia) began a weekly internet diary — to share with a few dozen associates. Now she has agreed to parts of her diary being published exclusively in the Mail, a gripping and deeply moving account of NHS life on the front line

Sister Anthea (pictured with her daughter Claudia) began a weekly internet diary — to share with a few dozen associates. Now she has agreed to parts of her diary being published exclusively in the Mail, a gripping and deeply moving account of NHS life on the front line

We are a competent, highly-knowledgeable, kind, caring group of individuals who are proud to be critical care nurses.

It’s different now, though. We are in a growing storm. We just fire-fight to do whatever we can to keep someone alive, to try to help them beat this unrelenting, deadly virus. The personal touch is impossible. One nurse said to me: ‘I don’t even know my patients’ names.’

We all have trouble sleeping and many of our permanent nurses (who come from all over the world) want to go home. They probably will do after this is done. We are broken.

But there is hilarity amid the madness. We laugh and cry and support each other. We have offers of counselling but are too busy.

Our priority outside the ward is to eat, sleep and have a very long shower.

We feel wretched and exhausted while at work, and guilty when not at work.

I walked through one of the ICUs a few days ago and blew kisses at the nurses I recognised beneath swathes of fabric, plastic and paper. Today, I received a text message from one of the Italian nurses: ‘Please come by and send me flying kisses again.’

The level of anxiety increases each day. It’s particularly tough for the junior staff, suddenly expected to lead and guide staff deployed from other areas.

We continue on and on and on, and still more patients arrive, ill and scared.

One man said: ‘Please don’t let me die.’

This is a different way of nursing. Uncharted, with no end in sight.

There are many NHS workers, some unseen, who are struggling. The mortuary staff, for example — our mortuary is full.

There are the lab technicians processing the stream of swabs from patients with Covid-19 symptoms, as well as the routine testing of blood and specimens.

Our technicians must keep servicing and cleaning the ventilators — some are more than 50 years old. The pharmacy is keeping up with the supply of drugs required. Recruitment is processing new, redeployed and temporary staff.

A junior doctor told me: ‘When this is done, so am I. No amount of money could make me stay.’

Week 5: Death stalks my ward

APRIL 21

If this is the front line, then we are fighting a war without weapons. One of our doctors who has worked in Afghanistan says he feels the ‘dramatic level of trauma’ is somehow worse than what he experienced out there.

This monster is worse? But yes, in this Covid war the enemy is unseen, and all we have is our dwindling supply of PPE, supposedly to protect us.

On Sunday I cared for patients in a makeshift and cramped ICU in what is usually a neurosurgical ward. Cables trailing along the ground, monitors balanced on top of ventilators and the emergency oxygen supply for my patient attached to the bed of another patient with roles of green tubing that looks like a garden hose hanging off the end of the bed.

The PPE is suffocating. It’s hot, it’s tight. I’ve a cut above my left ear from the mask elastic. We have to shout or we can’t be heard.

At one point I felt an overwhelming desire to break free and rip it all off. To lift my visor up and just breathe. My nose was blocked, my throat was sore — but then an alarm went off. A patient became unstable and I was distracted.

One man died. He was 60 and, apart from being diabetic, a working husband and father.

A junior nurse and I held his hands as he died; we spoke to him, talked about the photo of him at his daughter’s wedding last summer. I tucked that photo into his hand. There were no curtains around his bed, no family with him. Another Covid victim, snatched from life. The junior nurse had tears running down her face. ‘This is not how it is supposed to be,’ she said.

Later, I spoke to his daughter on the phone and I could hear her pain as I tried, inadequately, to describe his final moments and reassure her he was not alone when he died.

The dying man had been sedated. It’s hard for the patients who are conscious because they cannot see our faces. But I hope they can see us smile at them from behind our mask. We touch their face and hands so they feel reassured that we’ll do all we can to help them.

I recognise one patient — one of our own nurses. He had refused to be ventilated at first because he was scared.

Now I am programming his ventilator, giving him medication. He is doing well and I hope will make a full recovery.

A patient who was ventilated for 21 days left critical care today. As he was wheeled out, staff lined the corridors clapping and he smiled, waving his arms in victory.

A fantastic moment — patient and NHS staff united together in success.

We are shattered and do what we can to ensure we all have space to shed a tear or time out to eat and drink.

Hospitals seem to be designed with only a spare inch of space but the genius who designed the Atkinson Morley Wing at St George’s added a large balcony.

We can eat hot lasagne provided by @CriticalNhs and, just for a moment, we sit with our face in the sun and feel like the world is normal again.

I received a text from a Portuguese nurse: ‘I need some chocolate, a Coke and a new hair cover. Is there a pink one?’ I was able to fulfil all three requests!

We are brilliant, and to quote my daughter, Claudia, who I have the great pleasure of working beside: ‘The nurses are beautiful, hilarious, tireless heroes.’

I found one of our young nurses in the changing room, sobbing. I cuddled her as she cried, wondering what hideous thing she had just experienced. After a few minutes she said simply: ‘I miss my mum.’

This is our normal and we are adjusting to a new way of working until we have won this war.

Week 6: THIS MUM SHOULD NOT BE DYING 

APRIL 26

I’ve not cried at work for years but yesterday I felt a deep sadness that stayed with me all day. I cried on my lunch break. I got home and cried in the shower. I then cried again. I had a large glass of wine and cried some more. My patient was dying. I pride myself on my end-of-life care but I’d never imagined taping my iPhone to a drip pole with Elastoplast and angling it so the camera looked on to my patient’s face so her husband and children ‘could be with her’ as she died.

It was the best I could do but far from good enough. Usually, families are with a patient, holding their hand, brushing their hair, even lying next to them.

This felt so wrong and crude.

This woman should not be dying. She should be at home nagging her children to do their homework or brush their teeth. Discussing with her husband what to have for supper. Normal mum and family stuff.

I’m a marathon runner. The sheer exhaustion felt in those final metres to the finishing line is how I feel at the end of a shift on a Covid ICU — minus exhilaration and the smile on my face. But the crowd support and the kindness of strangers is the same.

Today, the new and amazing community network that was fired up by an email from me asking for biscuits has provided one of my lovely European nurses with a flat to live in for a few weeks. No rent, no bills, just a set of keys and the WiFi password.

It is quieter now at the hospital but a level of crazy still fills the air. I miss the old way of working, the routine, the familiarity.

Yesterday I didn’t recognise a friend in her PPE, and when she spoke I couldn’t hear her as my hazmat suit covered my ears. We did laugh and bump elbows.

How I took for granted our cool, navy, cotton scrubs and seeing colleagues’ faces.

The tide has changed direction somewhat. The resilience of staff has blossomed and we are settling into our new normal.

We have fewer admissions, but none of us want to relax as the invisible monster can rear its ugly head at any moment.

We can only do our best and the staff I have the privilege of working with are doing that and so much more.

We have many staff from all over the world, from Europe, India, the Philippines. These dedicated and fabulous people help hold up our health service.

We have the strength to keep fighting this battle. We will go to work — you stay at home.

  • #CriticalNHS is now providing food to staff at 15 hospitals across London and Surrey. The Daily Mail has made a donation to @CriticalNhs. If you want to help @CriticalNhs, which provides meals and many other items to support the staff at St George’s and other hospitals, click on the link below. https://paypal.me/pools/campaign/ 113431121376689453.

Additional reporting: Simon Trump



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Man who battled coronavirus thanks NHS 'angels' who saved his life

Man who battled coronavirus thanks NHS ‘angels’ who saved his life


A man whose relatives were instructed ‘the worst’ as he battled the coronavirus has thanked the health professionals and nurses who helped him pull through by regularly telling him he was ‘strong’ and that he would defeat the virus. 

Roy Ives 76, from Kent, invested 5 days at Medway Maritime healthcare facility with the virus, and immediately after thoroughly recovering appeared on Very good Morning Britain now with his wife Margie, wherever he was astonished by Dr Hetti, a person of the NHS workers who saved his daily life. 

The father insisted he ‘could not fault’ the hospital’s staff, who he called ‘angels’, and unveiled that despite the fact that he was not entirely mindful, staff would acquire time to inform patients ‘they’re strong’ and that ‘we’re all rooting for you’.  

Roy Ives (pictured) 76, from Kent, spent 5 times at Medway Maritime medical center with the virus, and after totally recovering appeared on Fantastic Morning Britain nowadays with his wife Margie (suitable)

He was surprised by Dr Hetti (pictured), one of the NHS staff who saved his life, and would regularly speak to him telling him he was 'strong' and would beat the aggressive virus

He was surprised by Dr Hetti (pictured), just one of the NHS staff who saved his lifetime, and would consistently speak to him telling him he was ‘strong’ and would defeat the aggressive virus

‘The first two days I did not realise what was going on, stated Roy, It was only following the first two times I appeared to settle for what was taking place. 

The medical doctor was a superb person, cannot fault him. The nurses, they are angels without the need of wings. They had been superb and the cure they gave me was incredible.’

When asked regardless of whether Dr Hetti’s operate experienced saved his daily life, Roy reported: ‘Without a question, no two phrases about it. 

‘He came in two times a day to communicate to the sufferers. Their faces were being included, I could not remember any of their names. I was out of it. But their voices ended up so reassuring. 

When host Piers Morgan then revealed that Dr Hetti would be appearing via video link so the two could chat with each other, Roy was left holding back tears

When host Piers Morgan then revealed that Dr Hetti would be appearing through movie website link so the two could chat with each individual other, Roy was remaining keeping back tears

Roy and Margie insisted they 'could not fault' the hospitals staff, who he called 'angels without wings'

Roy and Margie insisted they ‘could not fault’ the hospitals team, who he named ‘angels without wings’

‘They would say “Roy you are solid, you happen to be likely to beat this. We are all rooting for you”. And in the conclusion, you assume, “I believe them”. 

Dr Hetti would get time right after his shift to telephone Roy’s wife Margie and their children to give common updates on his health and fitness and explained to how tricky it was to be by yourself in the course of the process. 

‘He went over and beyond’, explained Margie,  ‘He identified as from his dwelling soon after function, to permit my daughter know how courageous he was. 

‘He stated to count on the worst, but hope for the finest. It was difficult for my children, they noticed I wanted them, but they had to stay out entrance of the home.’  

Host Piers Morgan then discovered that Dr Hetti would be showing by way of movie hyperlink so the two could chat with just about every other, leaving Roy holding again tears. 

‘What you’ve accomplished for me is unbelievable, reported Roy, I you should not demonstrate my feelings but I really feel a little bit choked up at the moment.’ 

Dr Hetti went on to insist that each patient’s recovery is a ‘team effort’ and praised Roy’s ‘calmness’ in the confront of the virus. 

Dr Hetti would take time after his shift to phone Roy's wife Margie and their children to give regular updates on his health and told how difficult it was to be alone throughout the process

Dr Hetti would take time immediately after his shift to telephone Roy’s spouse Margie and their youngsters to give regular updates on his wellness and told how challenging it was to be by yourself in the course of the procedure

‘As you know heading via the substantial dependency device, we have the great nurses. I arrived in two times a working day, but they ended up there 24 several hours a day. It was quite considerably a workforce hard work. The tireless operate our nurses do. 

‘I want to say these days you’re a single of the 1st clients who went by way of the device, we had been just starting off to discover about the ailment and how the factor operates. It was hard work. 

‘But I have to say, it was these kinds of a bewildering working experience for you and your calmness was genuinely beneficial for other individuals and the personnel, to enable them know people would get greater.’ 

He additional: ‘One of the issues we overlook in the unit is that human link. It makes it really is incredibly tough when you can’t see peoples facial expressions and physique language – so I imagine this will be a large elevate to our nurses.’ 



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P&O ferries' owner slams government for 'slow' reaction to its demands for £150m taxpayer bailout

P&O ferries’ owner slams government for ‘slow’ reaction to its demands for £150m taxpayer bailout


P&O ferries’ Dubai owner slams govt for ‘slow’ response to its calls for for £150m taxpayer bailout to help save ‘thousands’ of positions and defend ‘vital’ provide routes amid coronavirus lockdown

  • P&O owner has utilized for a £150million bailout from the British isles government 
  • Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem is but to listen to again and accused them of being ‘slow’ 
  • So considerably the enterprise have furloughed 1,400 workers and taken 7 ships out  
  • Very last year DP Globe, who possess P&O, manufactured substantial gains of more than £1bn 
  • Here’s how to help men and women impacted by Covid-19

The proprietor of P&O ferries has blasted the federal government for their ‘slow’ response to the disaster struggling with crucial provide routes throughout the coronavirus pandemic.   

P&O, a 180-yr-outdated corporation, have used for a bailout offered the tremendous effects of the coronavirus pandemic on trade and the agency account for 15 for every cent of superior imported and exported to and from Britain. 

In buy to steer clear of collapse, they want £257million and have questioned the governing administration for £150m in the direction of that determine. 

The head of Dubai-primarily based DP Globe who very own P&O ferries, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem (earlier mentioned), blasted the federal government for their ‘slow’ response to the firm’s need for £150million

P&O have already taken seven ships out of their line-up as they cut costs during the coronavirus crisis and they have also furloughed 1,400 members of staff

P&O have now taken seven ships out of their line-up as they reduce costs during the coronavirus disaster and they have also furloughed 1,400 users of staff 

If the company does go below, then 4,000 work opportunities would be misplaced. 

It stays to be observed no matter whether the Uk Treasury will grant the funds, specially soon after the hard line taken from Sir Richard Branson-owned Virgin Atlantic, who claim they could go less than with out £500m from the federal government. 

The head of Dubai-centered DP Planet, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, has not obtained a reaction to his software so considerably. 

He advised the BBC: ‘We have utilized to the United kingdom to help the business, so we can help save the employment of men and women. The governing administration have been gradual, but at the exact time as a corporation we need to have to be in a position to endure, so we have fundamentally taken seven of our ships out. 

‘So far we have furloughed 1,400 people to stay clear of the enterprise collapsing.’

‘P&O performs a very important purpose in the British isles and 1000’s of careers count on this enterprise. We have to be confident that when this is around we can bounce back and help save these positions.

Bin Sulayem is one of a number of company owners who have applied for a huge bailout

Bin Sulayem is one particular of a variety of enterprise owners who have applied for a big bailout 

‘We have used to the Uk federal government to aid the corporation to conserve the employment of these people. The govt has been sluggish. We will need to safeguard these work opportunities – a lot of people’s life depends on this corporation.’

The coronavirus disaster has witnessed P&O furlough 1,400 personnel and the governing administration will be masking 80 for each cent of their wages. 

A overall of 7 ships have been taken out of company as latest journey restrictions implies leisure travellers are not ready to e book. 

Last yr DP Environment, who own P&O, made staggering income of extra than £1bn and revenues have been earlier mentioned £6bn.    

Mr bin Sulayem defended P&O’s software financial enable irrespective of a dividend of £270m thanks to be paid out to DP Globe shareholders this 7 days: ‘DP Environment has under no circumstances taken a penny out of P&O. 

Mr bin Sulayem insisted all the money made from P&O was put back into the company rather than paid out to shareholders as a dividend

 Mr bin Sulayem insisted all the cash created from P&O was put back into the corporation somewhat than paid out out to shareholders as a dividend 

‘Any income we have made we have reinvested in new vessels. DP Entire world owns lots of enterprises close to the world. You are not able to just just take money out of them to place into a corporation in an additional location – it won’t make sense.’

The ferry business enterprise tends to make most of its cash from its cross-channel companies, which have viewed a collapse in passenger numbers considering the fact that the unparalleled lockdown in Britain and Europe.

A lot of ships on its busiest route among Dover and Calais have been deserted about the previous month.

P&O is continue to running providers but all motorists and foot passengers have to fill out a type to establish to the French authorities that their travel is ‘essential’.  

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Woman reveals her 'soulmate' beat cancer but died from coronavirus he may have caught waiting in A&E

Woman reveals her ‘soulmate’ beat cancer but died from coronavirus he may have caught waiting in A&E


A devastated spouse has spoken of her heartache right after losing her ‘soulmate’ who beat most cancers – but died from coronavirus which she believes he may possibly have picked up even though waiting around in A&E for 8 several hours.

Louise, 46, instructed how Patrick Tighe, 45, from Bridgnorth, arrived at healthcare facility where he was taken care of for a upper body infection caused by his chemotherapy, and immediately after getting tested for coronavirus, the final results came back again unfavorable.

Having said that, he tested beneficial just times afterwards, was set on dialysis and in a coma, and died on March 27 – a 7 days just after arriving in clinic, and seven months into remission.

‘I have dropped my soulmate,’ Louise stated, talking to The Solar. ‘My heart has been ripped out. Patrick was cremated by itself with no any of the loved ones but the undertaker. But he stayed with him so in my head I understood he was not alone.

Patrick Tighe, 45, from Bridgnorth, died from coronavirus connected to his fundamental well being issues on March 27. Pictured, ahead of he was diagnosed with most cancers in 2017

Louise, 46, said she has lost her 'soul mate' and added it feels like her heart has been ripped out. Pictured, with husband Patrick

Louise, 46, mentioned she has lost her ‘soul mate’ and included it feels like her heart has been ripped out. Pictured, with partner Patrick

Father-of-1 Patrick was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2017, and on September 12 final 12 months, was explained to his most cancers treatment method experienced been thriving – but was warned it may return. 

But after creating a chest an infection prompted by the chemotherapy in March, Louise statements he went to hospital where he waited for numerous hours, in advance of being discharged. 

On the other hand, at property, Patrick, who has son Matthew, 22, with Louise, continued to deteriorate, so he was taken again to clinic where he was examined for coronavirus, which arrived again unfavorable.  

‘They said it was an infection in his lungs which was pneumonia and it was all to do with the chemotherapy,’ described Louise. 

The father-of-one Patrick was diagnosed with oesophagal cancer in 2017, and on September 12 last year, was told his cancer treatment had been successful. Pictured, Louise, Patrick and their son Matthew, 22, during his cancer treatment

The father-of-a single Patrick was identified with oesophagal cancer in 2017, and on September 12 very last year, was explained to his cancer cure experienced been successful. Pictured, Louise, Patrick and their son Matthew, 22, throughout his most cancers remedy

Louise claims her husband (pictured together) waited around eight hours in A&E and two days later was put into a coma to help with his lungs

Louise promises her spouse (pictured alongside one another) waited all-around 8 several hours in A&E and two days afterwards was put into a coma to support with his lungs

‘He used close to 8 several hours in A&E then he went on to a ward and it was two days just after that he was set into a coma in intensive treatment to assistance him with his lungs.’

It was then that a next coronavirus exam arrived back positive, leading Louise to consider that he may possibly have contracted the lethal sickness whilst in medical center. 

There, a second coronavirus exam arrived back positive, suggesting he might have contracted it while in healthcare facility, and on March 29, Patrick died from coronavirus, joined to his fundamental overall health issues.

Whilst Louise promises Patrick shouldn’t have been still left to wait in A&E with his underlying overall health problems, she says she isn’t going to blame any of the workers.

‘I comprehend the hospitals are beneath massive strain so I am not indignant with them but the men and women who staff members them go without having critical PPE tools,’ she added.

‘I know the men and women who looked immediately after Patrick genuinely cared.’

A spokesperson for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Have confidence in (SaTH) explained: ‘Our views and condolences are with the relatives and pals of Mr Tighe at this pretty tough and distressing time.’ 

Patrick (pictured) tragically died from coronavirus, linked to his underlying health issues, on March 29

Patrick (pictured) tragically died from coronavirus, linked to his fundamental health and fitness concerns, on March 29



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How government 'counted single gloves rather than pairs to claim boast of one billion items of PPE

How government ‘counted single gloves rather than pairs to claim boast of one billion items of PPE


A BBC documentary very last night claimed ministers counted every glove individually as an alternative of in pairs to boast of delivering a person billion bits of PPE to NHS staff frontline – as however a further minister experienced a shambolic spherical of interviews today.

The Panorama investigation mentioned Amount 10 experienced failed to procure plenty of protecting gear, these as masks, robes and visors.

It also accused ministers of counting 547million gloves separately, as an alternative of as 273.5million pairs, to fiddle PPE figures.

The one billion determine also provided merchandise which are not viewed as PPE, like thousands and thousands of cleaning merchandise, waste baggage, detergents and paper towels.

Superior Early morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan termed the PPE scandal unveiled by Panorama a ‘national disgrace’ and accused Safeguarding minister Victoria Atkins of laughing when he was interviewing her.

It comes as Matt Hancock was confronted this early morning by the son of a doctor who had warned the govt about a deficiency of PPE for NHS workers right before he died of coronavirus.

Intisar Chowdhury, the son of Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, accused the Wellbeing Secretary of ‘ignoring’ his father’s plea for more very important protecting gear.

Good Early morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan termed the PPE scandal unveiled by Panorama a ‘national disgrace’ and accused Safeguarding minister Victoria Atkins of laughing

Wellbeing SECRETARY IS CONFRONTED BY SON OF A Medical professional WHO DIED OF COVID-19

Intisar Chowdhury, the son of Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury (pictured), accused the Health Secretary of 'ignoring' his father's plea for more vital protective equipment

Intisar Chowdhury, the son of Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury (pictured), accused the Wellbeing Secretary of ‘ignoring’ his father’s plea for additional critical protective equipment

Matt Hancock was confronted this early morning by the son of a health practitioner who had warned the federal government about a deficiency of PPE for NHS workers right before he died of coronavirus.

Intisar Chowdhury, the son of Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, accused the Overall health Secretary of ‘ignoring’ his father’s plea for a lot more crucial protective tools.

Mr Chowdhury urged Mr Hancock to apologise and to ‘openly admit there have been mistakes in managing this virus’.

Mr Hancock insisted the government ‘took extremely, quite seriously what your father said’ and ministers have been ‘working round the clock’ to make certain frontline personnel have the proper package to keep them safe and sound.

Mr Hancock was appearing on an LBC Radio mobile phone-in and had begun to just take queries from associates of the public when Mr Chowdhury challenged him. 

Mr Chowdhury asked Mr Hancock: ‘When he was unwell he wrote an open letter to the Primary Minister desirable for more PPE for NHS frontline workers, it was a ask for that was ignored, two months later he handed absent and given that then above 100 NHS and social care staff have passed away from contracting the virus.

‘Do you regret not using my dad’s concerns, my 11-12 months-old sister dad’s concerns and my wife’s husband’s worries severely plenty of for my father that we’ve all missing?’

The Health Secretary replied: ‘Intisar, I am really sorry about your dad’s loss of life and I have found the reviews you’ve got manufactured and what you have stated in community and I assume it can be incredibly courageous of you to be talking out in general public.

‘We took very really critically what your father explained and we’ve been doing work close to the clock to ensure that there is certainly ample protecting machines and in the case of anyone who performs in the NHS or in social care and has died from coronavirus we search into it in every case to discover out the explanations where by they could have caught it and what classes we can learn.’ 

Morgan questioned Ms Atkins why the United kingdom had downgraded Covid-19 from HCID, which is the higher consequence infectious group.

The minister then appeared to smirk and mentioned: ‘I am not a scientist Piers.’

 He interjected: ‘Well you can snicker. I really don’t know why you all preserving laughing when I speak about this. It truly is not humorous is it? Seem you just laughed all over again.’

Ms Atkins mentioned: ‘Piers, no its not and I know you accused a different colleague of mine laughing and I was not laughing.’

Morgan shot again: ‘These are not trivial issues minister allow me reveal why. By each requirements HCID matches the monthly bill. It really is the major public health crisis this country has faced in 100 a long time.’

He then accused the minister of downgrading the virus so they failed to have a lawful obligation to give well being workers ‘the ideal amount of PPE kit.’ 

He extra that Ms Atkins appeared to know ‘nothing’ about why the selection was taken to downgrade Covid-19.

Ms Atkins responded that she was on the programme to chat about the domestic abuse monthly bill, and that the authorities is ‘following the scientific advice.’ 

She later appeared on BBC Breakfast and did not deny the statements on BBC Breakfast this early morning, and said she would not be ‘drawn into the detail of these figures’.

She advised BBC Breakfast that she experienced a box of gloves and they ended up not badged up as getting in pairs, even though mentioned she was ‘not going to be drawn into the detail of these figures’.

But Ms Atkins stated: ‘We have been really clear about figures through and we have obtained to continue to keep with transparency due to the fact that is how we preserve people’s have faith in.’

‘I’m really, incredibly sorry to hear of that report.’  

It arrives as a shocking poll by the Royal Faculty of Medical professionals yesterday identified that a quarter of medical practitioners are obtaining to re-use protecting package intended to be worn just once.

The college’s chief said the study revealed a ‘terrible point out of affairs’ and – in a further blow to the Federal government – an investigation found that officials unsuccessful to obtain ample gowns when setting up an emergency stockpile in 2009. 

Ministers are also accused of disregarding a warning final June that they would have to have to acquire more.

The protecting apparel should be worn only as soon as since washing them at temperatures high more than enough to kill coronavirus weakens their success.

The BBC Panorama investigation, which was screened previous evening and is offered on iPlayer, uncovered the Govt failed to stockpile sufficient robes, visors and swabs essential for tests. 

Ministers evidently then ignored a warning very last summer months from specialists on the New and Rising Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group that they need to get additional gowns.

How government 'counted single gloves rather than pairs to claim boast of one billion items of PPE

A shocking poll by the Royal College or university of Physicians identified that a quarter of medical practitioners are getting to re-use protective package intended to be worn just the moment (file photograph)

The failure to provide enough PPE to hospitals and care homes has been one of the biggest issues in the pandemic

The failure to present enough PPE to hospitals and care households has been 1 of the biggest problems in the pandemic

Well being pro states government acted ‘too little far too late’ on PPE provision

Showing on Fantastic Early morning Britain this morning to focus on the startling revelations from Panorama’s programme previous night time, Professor John Ashton slammed the govt for its inaction.

He explained: ‘The tale has grow to be clearer at this position we know the govt acted much too very little also late at every stage and even right before this whole detail started at the close of January we weren’t well prepared. 

‘We know that back again in 2009 with the swine flu we did really very well truly, Dame Deidre Hines report showed that.

‘So between 2009 and today we have enable it go, and the organizing paperwork have not been stored up to day, the stockpiles obviously haven’t been kept as they ought to have been

‘And then there was this procedure sigma in 2016, the report has never viewed the light-weight of working day, and the conclusions have never been acted on so we had been in bad condition even before.

In my check out the Key Minister unsuccessful to chair cobra at the starting of February when he would have been in a placement to see where we have been and get started on catching up with the PPE and the testing which we have suffered from at any time because.’

 

The shortages are influencing treatment houses as properly. James Bullion, of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Providers, told the BBC’s Earth at Just one: ‘It’s been promised for some months and not arrived.’

Chris Hopson of NHS Companies, which represents clinic trusts, explained: ‘It will be critical – when the time comes for a general public inquiry – to analyze why the pandemic stockpile was not configured for an epidemic like the just one we confront now.’  

A Royal College’s survey – completed by 2,129 members – also highlighted fears that protecting tools was badly fitting. 

Just about a 3rd – 31 for every cent – stated they had not had their facemasks ‘fit tested’ to make certain they delivered greatest defense.

Just 69 per cent reported they were generally able to obtain the critical long-sleeved gowns. The determine for goggles was even reduced at 50 for every cent.

In general 27 for every cent stated they could not get the products they desired, which was up from 22 for each cent when the faculty carried out the same study a few weeks in the past.   

Some 27 per cent of health professionals were being re-working with their personalized protective gear or experienced completed so.

Its president, Professor Andrew Goddard, explained: ‘Many private protective gear things are intended for solitary use and need to only be re-used in extreme conditions.

‘That so lots of folks are obtaining to re-use PPE demonstrates how determined the shortages are.

‘This is a really terrible state of affairs. As a bare minimum we be expecting our wellness service to supply the tools we have to have to protect ourselves and our people.’  

How government 'counted single gloves rather than pairs to claim boast of one billion items of PPE

The number of new cases continued to rise in the latest data, but the rate has slowed significantly

The variety of new instances continued to rise in the most up-to-date details, but the level has slowed noticeably



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Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands


Hundreds of Virgin Media broadband users are still reporting being unable to get online today – despite the company saying an overnight outage has been fixed.   

The nationwide outage started just before 5pm last night, according to data from website Downdetector, which monitors online outages

Virgin Media users took to social media to complain about the outage, which the company says was fixed ‘in the early hours of the morning’.

But some customers say they are still facing issues this morning, sparking complaints on social media.

Others have hit out at the company’s lack of communication with customers, with Virgin Media posting just one update on its Twitter account in just 12 hours following the outage.

One Twitter user, Jake Ballinger, said: ‘Any chance of an update today? If I wasn’t losing money already in this crisis, losing even more now that I am unable to work from home because of this isn’t acceptable.’

Another said: ‘Any idea of when you will update the information on this outage as there has been nothing from you in 12 hours.’ 

Problems were reported in towns and cities across the UK including Birmingham, Nottingham, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Bristol, Southampton, Eastleigh and Liverpool. Pictured, a live map on website Downdetector at 8.30am today

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Outages have continued into today as customers reported their internet failing every hour on Downdetector.

At 6.43am today there were 553 reports of people having issues on Downdetector. 

As of 8am, that had more than doubled to around 1,200.

Over three quarters of those affected, 78 per cent, reported problems with their wired connection – as some complained their Virgin Media internet had been periodically cutting out recently.

Some 19 per cent reported their mobile internet was also down. 

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: ‘An intermittent broadband issue that started yesterday evening was fixed in the early hours of this morning.

‘This was not caused by increased usage or a lack of capacity.

‘We know how frustrating this was for customers and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.’ 

However Virgin customers have lambasted the company for not providing any updates on their Twitter account – the last update was more than 12 hours.

One user said: ‘Where’s the update Virgin Media? The last one was eight hours ago which is unacceptable for an incident of this scale.’ 

As of 8am, there were around 1,200 complaints of connectivity problems from Virgin Media customers, according to website Downdetector

As of 8am, there were around 1,200 complaints of connectivity problems from Virgin Media customers, according to website Downdetector

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media tweeted at 10.08pm to let its frustrated customers know it’s technicians were working on a solution, but knew the problem wasn’t being caused by increased usage or ‘a lack of capacity’.

Instead a ‘technical fault’ is the reason thousands of people are suffering through their internet connection consistently shutting down.

The Tweet read: ‘The issue is causing broadband connectivity to drop for a few minutes before returning again. 

‘We know that this is not being caused by increased usage or a lack of capacity – it is a network technical fault. Our teams are currently working on a fix.’

Another Twitter post was made more than 12 hours later, at around 9.30am today. 

In response to this morning’s issues, a spokesperson for Virgin Media told the MailOnline: ‘There are no widespread problems still occurring on the network.

‘Our customer service teams will pick up with any customers facing individual, potentially in-home, connectivity problems.’

Virgin Media tweeted at 10.08pm to let its frustrated customers know it's technicians were working on a solution, but knew the problem wasn't caused by increased usage or 'a lack of capacity'

Virgin Media tweeted at 10.08pm to let its frustrated customers know it’s technicians were working on a solution, but knew the problem wasn’t caused by increased usage or ‘a lack of capacity’ 

Birmingham, Nottingham, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Bristol, Southampton, Eastleigh and Liverpool were among the locations with the highest rate of reports.

Reports from Birmingham peaked at 8pm with 1381, while in Manchester there were 766 reports at 7.52pm.

In Southampton the outage peaked at 469 at 5.54pm. And outages continued through the night with 8,763 complaints recorded by Downdetector at midnight.

Some 44,859 customers took to website Downdetector to report problems even at 8pm yesterday evening.

Connections appeared to be cutting in and out as users took to the site to report problems at 5pm, 7pm and 8pm.

Customers vented their frustration on social media at a time when reliable home internet networks are proving crucial. 

@valinor__ tweeted: ‘When I die, you lot better get Virgin Media Wifi to sponsor my funeral so they can let me down one last f****** time.’

The number of people reporting intermittent problems spiked at around 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 9pm, 11pm and 12am BST, each with tens of thousands of people reporting complaints

The number of people reporting intermittent problems spiked at around 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 9pm, 11pm and 12am BST, each with tens of thousands of people reporting complaints

@VijayArogyasami wrote: ‘Second time in a month my Virgin Media service has gone down. This time it was only half a hour. Last time, it went down at 8pm in the evening and wasn’t back on until 11am the next day.’ 

@superninja106 said: ‘If you take a shot every time virgin media’s wifi went back up you might never get drunk.’

While @Doomwatch9 wrote: ‘Virgin Media boasts lightning fast internet (when it works) the only known thing that moves faster is Beardy Branson’s hand moving to get a government bailout.’

While most of the red had cleared up by 8.30pm it is clear from this Downdetector graphic that many homes were still without internet

While most of the red had cleared up by 8.30pm it is clear from this Downdetector graphic that many homes were still without internet

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Twitter users took to the site to share jokes about internet switches being turned off and technicians trying to fix the problem

Twitter users took to the site to share jokes about internet switches being turned off and technicians trying to fix the problem

@OMGItzMartinnn penned: ‘To be fair my family has been with virgin media 17 years and this happens pretty often tbf. @virginmedia improve your infrastructure!’  

The outage appears to have lasted for less than an hour, with some Twitter users reporting a short-term issue of between seven ad 15 minutes.

‘Who tripped over the plug that goes to the UK at Virgin Media? Entire country down for like 7 minutes and then straight back up,’ tweeted @blakeinghearts.  

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

While some Twitter users joked about a rogue employee flicking the UK Internet switch, others called out angry customers for being too harsh to call centre workers

While some Twitter users joked about a rogue employee flicking the UK Internet switch, others called out angry customers for being too harsh to call centre workers

Another said: ‘Mine went off for about 15 odd minutes then came back on. I hope this has resolved for everyone else? Tbf Virgin Media have been quite good, for us at least.’ 

Other users were cut off from virtual meetings or forced to stop teaching mid-lesson when their internet stopped working. 

One said: ‘So @virginmedia went down temporarily during a zoom meeting and suddenly the precariousness of my online existence became all too clear. 

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Some Twitter users reported that the outage lasted for a few minutes before they were reconnected

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Other users were cut off from virtual meetings and were forced to stop teaching mid-lesson when their internet stopped working

Other users were cut off from virtual meetings and were forced to stop teaching mid-lesson when their internet stopped working

‘I know we’re all moaning but without it I would not have seen another human I know for 6 weeks.’

Another wrote: ‘Looks like I can blame @virginmedia for my @zoom_us lesson cutting out this afternoon. 

‘Looking at their tweets they are aware there is an issue and are working hard to resolve it. That’s good then – let’s hope I can teach online tomorrow okay! #teachingfromhome’

Lots of users joked business magnate Richard Branson may be withholding internet to encourage the Government to grant his airline a £500 million loan. 

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

 

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Lots of users joked Richard Branson may be withholding internet to encourage the Government to grant his airline a £500 million loan

Lots of users joked Richard Branson may be withholding internet to encourage the Government to grant his airline a £500 million loan

Branson, 69, is battling to save Virgin Atlantic by begging the British Government for a loan —and offering to mortgage Necker Island, his private Caribbean retreat believed to be worth £80 million.

The business mogul pledged to ‘raise as much money against the island as possible to save as many jobs as possible’ in an attempt to persuade the authorities to help Virgin through ‘the devastating impact this pandemic continues to have’.

@Cardiac1963 wrote: ‘Branson’s not getting any money for his planes so he’s pulled the plug out on Virgin Media Wifi there defo.’

Sir Branson (pictured in October), 69, is battling to save Virgin Atlantic by begging the British Government for a loan

Sir Branson (pictured in October), 69, is battling to save Virgin Atlantic by begging the British Government for a loan

@_toiletroad said: ‘Virgin media is down cause Richard Branson is having a sulk about everyone calling him a knob head.’

Another user, @youneshh, said: ‘Feel for all you who use Virgin Media for internet. Richard Branson has just taken you all as ransom for government bailout.’ 

The rumours have very little grounding and Branson actually only owns 15 per cent of the media company. 

US billionaire John Malone’s group, Liberty Global, bought Virgin Media in a cash and stock deal worth $23.3bn (£15bn) in 2013. 

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Virgin Media broadband outage affects thousands

Customers took to social media to vent their frustration at a time when reliable home internet networks are proving crucial

Customers took to social media to vent their frustration at a time when reliable home internet networks are proving crucial

Thousands of Virgin Media customers were left without internet or phone access early last month due to another outage affecting parts of England, especially Southampton and surrounding areas. 

Coronavirus lockdown has caused UK internet usage to almost DOUBLE 

Data from Openreach, the UK’s largest which owns and operates most of the UK’s phone broadband lines, reveals daytime data consumption has almost doubled in March. 

On March 9, one week before Boris Johnson gave his first daily coronavirus press conference urging people to work from home wherever possible, the total amount of data used between 9am and 5pm was 27 petabytes.

On Monday March 30, this figure reached 51Pb, almost double the previous figure. One petabyte is the same as one million gigabytes. 

The peak time during the day continues to be between 2pm and 5pm, while the evening peak is between 8pm and 11pm.

‘Overall, the network is coping very well as we have expected,’ a spokesperson told MailOnline.

At the time, one Virgin Media broadband customer in London told MailOnline that they have been without internet for a whole week with ‘no clear explanation’. 

The outage came as a shock to the thousands of Brits now working and studying at home.

It was recently revealed Britons were using the coronavirus lockdown to upgrade their internet, with the amount of people switching broadband supplier jumping by 30 per cent from the end of February to the end of March.

Millions of adults and children are stuck inside all day during the nationwide lockdown and high-speed internet has become a necessity.

Children are e-schooling, parents are working from home, and streaming TV programmes is a key hobby in the evenings.

As a result, internet consumption has almost doubled in the UK in March and many are looking to boost their internet speed. 

Comparethemarket.com says it has seen considerable demand for products with faster speeds since the restrictions began.

The comparison site also claims four in 10 households have experienced issues with their broadband since lockdown, which has impacted their ability to work.

Customers opting for download speeds of 51+MB or more – fast enough to easily download files – made up less than half of all switches at the start of March.

But by the end of the month, after lockdown was implemented, customers opting for these speeds made up almost two thirds of those switching.

Figures from comparethemarket.com also reveal a huge spike of 95 per cent in people purchasing the fastest internet package,providing more than 61mbps.

Children are e-schooling, parents are working from home, and streaming TV programmes is a key hobby in the evenings. As a result, internet consumption has almost doubled in the UK in March and many are looking to increase their bandwidth and have quicker internet speeds (stock)

Children are e-schooling, parents are working from home, and streaming TV programmes is a key hobby in the evenings. As a result, internet consumption has almost doubled in the UK in March and many are looking to increase their bandwidth and have quicker internet speeds (stock)

Holly Niblett, head of digital at comparethemarket.com, said: ‘We have seen a surge in demand for faster broadband packages since the lockdown began. 

‘Broadband is increasingly being recognised by the government as an essential utility, yet many people adjusting to the new ways of working are realising that their existing connection isn’t up to scratch.

‘Millions of households are stuck on out-of-contract deals with their existing provider which are often expensive and uncompetitive.

‘The reality of a patchy connection speed, combined with a growing awareness that cheap, reliable and fast broadband is no longer a pipedream, is motivating growing numbers to switch provider.

‘Switching provider is straightforward and can generate savings over the course of a year that can easily run into hundreds of pounds.’  



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