‘I can’t reassure her without lying’ – nurse reveals emotional impact on child

An NHS nurse has criticised Matt Hancock after her daughter begged her not to continue working in A&E during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kate, who did not want her surname published, has worked in the NHS for 25 years and in February returned to a more hands-on role.

However, since coronavirus hit the UK, the 44-year-old has campaigned against Public Health England’s guidance during the crisis, and her daughter is concerned for her mother’s safety.

Kate tweeted at Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Friday that her eight-year-old daughter had gone to bed “sobbing and begging me not to work in A&E”, adding: “her words broke me,’Mummy I’m only 8 and I need you – I don’t want you to die”.

And while Kate has been reassuring her daughter, who she said is “a beautiful little happy child, normally”, she said the reality is a different story.

“I was so angry. How dare he (Matt Hancock) put us in this position.

“I can’t even reassure her without lying that I’ve got enough equipment to keep me safe at work. Actually the reality is I’ve been going to work for weeks in a crap plastic pinny and a basic surgical mask.

“I can’t even reassure her effectively without lying that we’ve got everything that we need.”

Coronavirus graphic
Coronavirus graphic

A British Medical Association (BMA) survey of more than 6,000 doctors across the country said a significant amount of them remain without the protection they need to guard against Covid-19.

Meanwhile, another survey by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) found half of nurses have felt pressure to work without appropriate protective equipment during the crisis.

“I’m very careful to not expose my children to anything,” Kate told the PA news agency.

“However, they listen to the radio, news is out there, they see the 5pm briefing, they understand. They know they’re all off school because of the massive risks of corona, so it’s weighing heavily on their minds anyway.

“I’ve stopped sharing a bed with my daughter, I considered moving out, I thought ‘is that the best thing?’

“I’ve moved downstairs into the spare room, and then when I put her to bed last night she’s sobbing her little heart out.”