Jersey Hospital exclusive: 'This is the most awful intensive-care illness I have ever treated'

One of Jersey's senior medics has described Covid-19 as "the most awful intensive care illness I have ever treated". ITV News was invited into the General Hospital to see the work of frontline health workers, amid staff concerns about infection control and the availability of personal protective equipment.

One claim was about patients being admitted to the hospital and catching coronavirus while there, with one of those patients dying with Covid-19 in the past month.

Health officials have confirmed that claim but say those incidents are very much the exception. Although they do admit working in the ageing hospital is a compromise.

They are thanking both staff and patients for their understanding, and particularly the workforce for their adaptability, often at short notice. Previously cancelled outpatient appointments and non-urgent operations are gradually beginning to resume.

When patients are critically ill we normally have parents, families, at the bedside. We haven't been able to do this, we've been using iPads and ringing people up on a daily basis. That's difficult and if I was to pick out one moment in the last month, it was a conversation with a family member I had to tell their loved one had died and that was on the phone and that was really difficult.

Consultant Aneasthetist and Deputy Medical Director Paul Hughes

Jersey's Chief Nurse says that the situation in the hospital has been very challenging and people have been frightened.

It's really tough in the sense that we didn't have the space to begin with, we don't have a lot of cubicles, we are managing covid patients in a physical environment that's less than ideal. When you factor in all the additional things that would be really good to have in terms of space for staff to have a rest and break that puts extra pressure on us because the building doesn't lend itself to it.

Rose Naylor, Jersey's Chief Nurse

Meanwhile Paul Hughes is urging people to take the virus very seriously and says it is the worst intensive-care illness he has every had to treat.

This is a dreadful, dreadful disease and the vaccine will take a long time to come into circulation and make a difference. So, the Covidiots they need to stay at home. This isn't a disease you can take lightly and I'm sick of treating it."

Paul Hughes, Consultant Aneasthetist and Deputy Medical Director