A JUNIOR doctor has revealed how she is having to tell patients with terminal coronavirus that if they want to see their families again they will have to go home to die.
Katie Sanderson, who works in acute medicine at a central London hospital, made an impassioned plea for people to obey rules on social isolation and distancing as Britain’s death toll jumped from 335 to 422, and the government announced £30 on-the-spot fines for those who ignore the lockdown.
The 32-year-old said that some colleagues her age were fighting for their lives in hospital and others had already made their wills.
She told how she has been ‘reduced to tears in the work loos’ after seeing pictures of ‘huge crowds on Clapham Common and Highbury Fields’ and people queuing ‘unsafely’ up and down the country.
‘I am having conversations with patients who are going to die asking whether they want to die in hospital where we are currently not able to have visitors, or whether they want to die at home,’ Dr Sanderson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
‘Really, really, take this seriously. If you do not take this seriously, you are condemning someone to potentially dying with a nurse they don’t know. That, or dying at home. That is the reality of it.’
Dr Sanderson, who said she wears red clogs to work to cheer herself up, added: ‘I am 32 and I have colleagues in intensive care who are in their 30s. A friend who is 28 told me they had made their will. We will look after your relatives with compassion, we will look after your relatives with care and love.
‘But I do not want to be overwhelmed by tears in a loo at work because somebody sends me a picture today of people queuing unsafely.’
Dr Sanderson spoke out as hospital staff battling into work on packed public transport said they feared that they were in more danger from passengers than patients.
‘I worry for my health more on my commute than actually being in the hospital,’ said nurse Julia Harris after her Tube journey to Imperial College NHS Trust in west London.
Sonographer Nicola Smith posted a picture of a crammed Central line Tube on her commute to work at a central London hospital.
‘I love my job, but now I’m risking my health just on the journey in?!’ she tweeted.