A nurse who cared for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in intensive care when he contracted COVID-19 has resigned, criticising the government’s handling of the deadly pandemic and saying that nurses were not getting the “respect” and “pay” they deserve. Jenny McGee, originally from New Zealand, said the pandemic that has claimed over 120,000 lives in the UK, has proved the toughest year in her career.
“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 (National Health Service),” she said in a Channel 4 documentary titled ‘The Year Britain Stopped’. “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,” McGee was quoted as saying in the programme by the BBC on Wednesday.
The government has proposed 1 per cent pay rise for NHS staff this year. McGee also told the programme, which will be broadcast on May 24, that “a lot of nurses” felt the government “hadn’t led very effectively” and that there had been “indecisiveness” and “so many mixed messages”.
The deadly viral infection has so far infected 4,468,366 people and claimed 127,956 lives in the UK. Johnson, who contracted the virus in late last March, after his release from the St Thomas’ hospital here had praised McGee and fellow nurse Luis Pitarma for staying by his bedside all night.
In the documentary, McGee also spoke of Johnson’s condition when he was admitted to hospital in April last year. She recalled him being surrounded by sick patients, some of whom were dying, and looking very, very unwell. He was a different colour really. McGee admitted that caring for Covid patients was complicated as they didn’t know what was going to happen. She described it as a surreal time.