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  1. ITV Report

'Government is letting us down' over lack of protective equipment says Bristol junior doctor

Emma Coombe says she fears for her own health. Credit: ITV News

A junior doctor from Bristol says staff on the front line of the NHS feel 'let down' by the Government over a lack of protective equipment as they continue to treat Covid-19 patients.

Emma Coombe, who is training in paediatrics and currently working in a London hospital, told ITV News she feels Prime Minister Boris Johnson is failing to keep staff safe and said patients will ultimately suffer.

It's really difficult to see politicians on the TV talking about giving the NHS all the resource that it needs, but not walking the walk when it comes to providing us with protective equipment. We feel a bit let down actually on the front line on the NHS.

You've got the Prime Minister clapping on his doorstep but he's not able to keep us safe at work and that's really the bare minimum of what NHS staff should expect when they are doing a job like we do.

– Emma Coombe, junior doctor

Dr Emma warns that it's patients who will suffer if NHS staff fall ill.

For every NHS staff member that has symptoms and has to isolate for up to 14 days, that's more shifts that the rest of us have to cover. And we are spread so, so thin.

If we have 20 or 30 or even up to 50 per cent of our workforce unable to work and not able to get access to those swab tests then ultimately it's going to be patients that suffer.

– Emma Coombe

The Government this week announced a new drive that will see all NHS frontline staff provided with coronavirus test kits.

Dozens of universities, research institutes and companies across the UK are involved in the project, which starts this weekend.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who has recently tested positive for the virus, said the Government is working hard to "relieve pressure" on the NHS.

We want to save lives, protect the most vulnerable, and relieve pressure on our NHS.

Healthcare staff are key in our fight against the virus and I want to ensure that any frontline NHS or care worker who has symptoms of coronavirus or who has a family member with symptoms can be tested quickly and reliably. I pay tribute to the generosity and public spirit of Britain’s universities, research institutes and companies who have lent us their equipment without hesitation.

– Matt Hancock, Health Secretary

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