Boris Johnson’s intensive care nurse, credited with helping save the former Prime Minister’s life when he became seriously ill with Covid-19 two years ago, has warned her former colleagues they have “had enough”. Jenny McGee quit the profession last year, blaming the Government’s pay offer and its “lack of respect” for the profession.
In a new interview she claimed nurses feel under “so much pressure… every single shift”.
Ms McGee, who cared for Mr Johnson at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London in 2020, said nurses “can’t give the care that we so desperately want to give”.
And she said nurses “just want to be paid a fair wage”.
Her candid remarks came after the first ever national walkout of nurses who are members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
Tens of thousands of nurses joined picket lines across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in support of the RCN’s dispute with the Government over pay.
The intensive care nurse told Talk TV’s Piers Morgan: “I think there’s just a real concern for what’s happening in our profession.
“We are terribly, terribly understaffed – we have 50,000 vacancies across this country and we are seeing that on the wards.
“We’re seeing that when we’re working, we don’t have enough nurses on our wards.
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“We feel that nurses are leaving the profession in droves.
“I think they’re leaving because we’ve had enough, we have so much pressure and responsibilities put on our shoulders. We are busy every single shift.”
She added: “We can’t give that care that we so desperately want to give and we feel that we’re underpaid.
“We care very deeply about the patients that we look after but we just want to be paid a fair wage.”
Ms McGee said that a 19 percent pay increase would “not be out of the question”, adding: “We have worked so incredibly hard throughout the pandemic and we have proven ourselves time and time again, but we just want something that we can live that’s in line with inflation.
“We’re not asking for millions. We’re just asking for a fair wage.”
She told Morgan: “All we really want to do is give wonderful care to the patients that we’re looking after, that’s what we’re in the profession to do, that’s why we’re nurses.
“We want to look after people, we want to make them better, and when you have all these external things coming in and interfering with that, it’s demoralising. It’s so tough.
“I quit my job a year or two ago because of all those pressures that I had on me. I felt I couldn’t do it anymore here in the UK and I needed a break, and that’s what’s happening to many, many nurses. “