Intensive care doctor tells ITV News 'the worst is yet to come'

An intensive care doctor has told ITV News the “worst is yet to come” and that hospitals are expanding intensive care units to prepare for increasing coronavirus cases.

Lucie Cocker, a frontline doctor in the East Midlands, told ITV News she was “waiting for that wave to hit and for it to become a reality for us in a way that it is already for some colleagues elsewhere in the country and across the world.”

Speaking after a nightshift, Dr Cocker said that, while there was still not enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for some NHS workers, at her hospital, staff had been provided with enough equipment of a good standard.

She said: “I have been pleasantly surprised, and some of my anxieties in regards to the level of PPE for us at least have been slightly calmed.

“There was definitely enough equipment for us and also of a high level of standard of equipment.

“So, when I went into areas where we were treating patients who possibly had coronavirus, I was wearing full gowns with long sleeves, two layers of gloves, face mask with a visor to cover my eyes and also a cap to cover my hair.”

Dr Mohammed Abbas Khaki told ITV News he did not feel protected in the equipment he had been given. Credit: ITV News

Medical workers have raised concerns about the provision of personal protective equipment. On Monday, the government announced that millions more items of PPE would be delivered to NHS services around the country.

Dr Cocker was speaking after the Prime Minister announced there would be a partial shutdown in the country in an address to the nation on Monday evening.

People are now only allowed to leave their homes for:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible

  • One form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household

  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

Dr Cocker was speaking after the Prime Minister announced there would be a three-week lockdown. Credit: PA

However, she said that she was still concerned by the numbers on the street.

“I was also keeping an eye out when I was driving home this morning after Boris Johnson’s announcement of a lockdown in the UK, as to how many people I would see walking through the streets," Dr Cocker said.

“I wondered if I would see any and, unfortunately, I stopped counting once I saw more than 20 people on the high street at 9 o’clock.

“I was hoping to see, if I’m honest, absolutely no one. That would have been the ideal situation to make it really feel like people are taking this onboard.“

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know