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Government disrespect for nursing profession; nurse who cared for British Prime Minister resigns

LONDON: A nurse who cared for the British Prime Minister when he was being treated for COVID-19 has resigned in protest of the government’s lack of respect for nurses. Nurse Jenny McGee said her resignation was prompted by the Government’s 1% pay offer and lack of respect for the profession.

Ms. McGee cared for Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the intensive care unit of St Thomas’ Hospital in central London in April 2020.

“All around him there was lots and lots of sick patients, some of whom were dying.

 I remember seeing him and thinking he looked very, very unwell.

 He was a different colour really.

“It’s so surreal, that’s the Prime Minister. They are very complicated patients to look after and we just didn’t know what was going to happen.” Jenny McGee was sharing her experiences in a documentary titled The Year Britain Stopped, which will air on the 24th of this month.

Boris Johnson praised efforts of Ms. McGee and Nurse Luis Pitarma after being released from the hospital. “The reason in the end my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night, they were watching,” he said.

Ms. McGee said: “Lots of nurses felt that the Government hadn’t led very effectively, the indecisiveness, so many mixed messages. It was just very upsetting.

“Yes, we have put ourselves on the line and we have worked so incredibly hard, and there’s a lot of talk about how we’re all heroes and all that sort of stuff.

“But at the same time, I’m just not sure if I can do it. I don’t know how much more I’ve got to give to the NHS. We’re not getting the respect and now pay that we deserve. I’m just sick of it. So I’ve handed in my resignation.”

She also mentioned that she is going to start a nursing contract in the Caribbean. “I’m excited to start a nursing contract in the Caribbean, before a holiday back home in New Zealand later in the year.”

“I’m so proud to have worked at St Thomas’ Hospital and to have been part of such a fantastic team,” she added.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Ms. McGee’s decision was a “devastating indictment of Boris Johnson’s approach to the people who put their lives on the line for him and our whole country”.

Meanwhile, a Government spokesperson said: “Our NHS staff have gone above and beyond over the past year and this Government will do everything in our power to support them. We are extremely grateful for the care NHS staff have provided throughout the pandemic in particular.”

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