A number of NHS staff have gathered outside Downing Street to protest the Government’s handling of the pandemic.
Wearing PPE and carrying a sign which read “You failed the public, you failed the NHS, Boris must go”, the five campaigners arrived at 8pm, the scheduled start time of the Clap For Heroes.
One nurse told reporters: “The situation in hospitals is so severe, we are stretched across all ICUs.”
ICU nurse Ameera Sheikh told reporters: “It’s been very difficult, very challenging.
“We’re stressed out and very anxious, there’s a lot of PTSD amongst staff, staff are going off sick … leaving nurses very short, which increases the risk of patients deteriorating and ultimately patients dying.
“This is the Government’s fault, they need to take responsibility, they need to provide us with better pay and better working conditions.”
She added: “It’s 8pm, it’s Thursday, it’s Clap for Carers, whilst we appreciate the claps that the public are doing and some of them are staying at home, we do not appreciate our Government clapping for us because essentially they are the reason why we are in this position.
“They’ve not planned at all and they’ve had months to plan ahead and they’ve left us in such a terrible position.”
Around five minutes after the protesting staff gathered, several police officers arrived at the gates of Downing Street.
The campaigners were reminded of the national lockdown measures and the group then dispersed.
The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in England stood at a record 32,925 as of 8am on Thursday January 14, NHS England said.
A further 48,682 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK have been reported on Thursday, Public Health England said.
The publication of the latest deaths data has been delayed due to a “processing issue”, it added.