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Frontline worker posts moving online message calling for 'perspective' over stories of hospitals being quieter

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Staff at the Mater Hospital in Belfast, during a minute's silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak

Staff at the Mater Hospital in Belfast, during a minute's silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak

PA

Staff at the Mater Hospital in Belfast, during a minute's silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak

A frontline NHS worker has spoken of her frustration at what she called 'negative thoughts, views and spins' about hospitals being 'quiet' during the Covid-19 emergency.

Kiara McElroy took to social media yesterday to share her first-hand experience.

"First of all, that was the bloody aim of lockdown - to not overwhelm hospitals," she posted. "Have you ever been in A&E normally these days where you can't be seen for hours on end?

"What that means is Covid patients get access to fast proper care. Anyone who has had it will vouch for that."

And she spoke movingly of the way in which healthcare workers care for dying patients - and their grief-stricken families.

"We try our hardest that no Covid patient dies alone," she added. "They often can't have family because of the risk to family. But they have us.

"We may have masks, aprons gloves on, but we hold their hands and we pray with them if they would want that, we talk about their families . We have time these days to ring families every day and get to know them too.

"When they do die, they aren't alone and then they aren't left alone until after they leave us.

"We take our time, we wash them slowly, we dress them in clean new PJs (we have actually got these for patients ourselves, for families can't provide them).

"We brush their hair, shave them if they are men and would like that, provide mouthcare, talk to them the whole time.

"We either sit with families who wish to come to the ward, make them tea, let them cry, comfort them from a distance or we phone them privately, again take our time, answer any questions.

"So yes the hospitals are 'quieter' - but how about you all stop for a second and put it into perspective?"

Belfast Telegraph