NHS nurse: 'I used to go into work happy – not anymore'

4 January 2022, 19:35 | Updated: 4 January 2022, 20:17

By Seán Hickey

This A&E nurse moved LBC listeners with her first-hand account of the chaos in UK hospitals as Omicron cases skyrocket.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Karen phoned in from Sheffield to share her experience on the front line with Eddie Mair, as a number of hospitals nationwide declare crisis situations.

"Every day I go into work you start your shift with a fear of dread and doom" she began.

Read more: Ben Kentish grills PM over pressure on NHS amid Omicron spread

She revealed that 12 hour waits at A&E are "not unusual now", adding that "government targets have gone out the window."

Read more: No fresh Covid curbs as PM unveils daily tests for 100,000 critical workers

"I come home I cry. This morning I didn’t want to go, I cried before I went, but I went. We are desperately short of staff.

"We were already depleted and now because of Omicron…we've been down, instead of ten qualified nurses on shift – two!"

Read more: Sajid Javid: Govt not looking at cutting self-isolation period to five days

Reacting to the Health Secretary Sajid Javid's insistence that there won't be any further restrictions, the caller said he "needs to come to work with me for a shift" to see the issues firsthand.

"I’ve gone through shifts where I haven’t even had a wee all day".

Read more: Vaccines Minister 'disappointed' when healthcare staff refuse Covid jab

"I’ve been in emergency nursing for 30 years and I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s totally unsustainable", the caller said.

"I used to go into work happy – not anymore."

More Eddie Mair

'You don't need a crystal ball!': Furious Eddie Mair corners Tory MP on cost of living crisis

'You don't need a crystal ball!': Furious Eddie Mair corners Tory MP on cost of living crisis

Exclusive
Kremlin chaos: Putin 'constantly surrounded by doctors' as illness throws regime in disarray

Putin 'constantly surrounded by doctors' as illness throws Kremlin into chaos

Tory MP: 'Oil companies have a cartel monopoly' over consumers

Tory MP: 'Oil companies have a cartel monopoly' over consumers

Jack Monroe slams Tory MP's 'abhorrent' food bank comments

Jack Monroe slams Tory MP's 'abhorrent' food bank comments

Tory MP accuses peer of 'hyperbole' over anti-protest bill concerns

Tory MP accuses peer of 'hyperbole' over anti-protest bill concerns

'Prime Minister in waiting!' Starmer saluted after Covid fine resignation pledge

'Prime Minister in waiting!' Starmer saluted after Covid fine resignation pledge

From Covid infection to being fined: Eddie Mair's painstaking timeline on partygate and Boris

From Covid infection to the fine: Eddie Mair's painstaking timeline on partygate and Boris

Partygate fines: Eddie Mair grills Tory MP Sir Roger Gale over PM future

Partygate fines: Eddie Mair grills Tory MP over PM's future

'He set the rules and broke them!' Eddie Mair's tense clash with caller defending PM

'He set the rules and broke them!' Eddie Mair's tense clash with caller defending PM

Sir David Amess' murderer achieved 'absolutely nothing', campaigner declares

Sir David Amess' murderer achieved 'absolutely nothing', campaigner declares

Bereaved father details failings of 'swamped' NHS mental health services

Bereaved father details failings of 'swamped' NHS mental health services

Eddie Mair is to retire from broadcasting later this year

Eddie Mair to retire from broadcasting

Mariupol resident shares harrowing account of Russia's barbaric siege

Mariupol resident shares harrowing account of Putin's barbaric siege

Putin's negotiators 'becoming softer' in peace talks, Zelenskyy advisor reveals

Putin's negotiators 'becoming softer' in peace talks, Zelenskyy advisor reveals

Eddie Mair reflects on people giving large amounts of money to political parties

Eddie Mair reflects on people giving large amounts of money to political parties

'Teach impartially' advice could cause avoidance of 'difficult' topics, fears ASCL President

'Teach impartially' advice may cause avoidance of 'difficult' topics, fears ASCL President