Doctors and nurses in northern England regions with some of the highest rates of COVID-19 have been described as being “physically and emotionally exhausted”, NHS Preparing for the second wave of the pandemic.

Most of the north is placed in the “high risk” category of Level 2, with Merseyside in the higher category of Level 3. As politicians debate whether A nationwide circuit breaker It will be a more effective tool to limit the spread of the virus, still frontline employees Scars from the first wave – They have no illusions about what they’re in store.

Carmel O’Boyle, a nurse in Liverpool who is also president of the Royal College of Nursing of Greater Liverpool and the Knowsley branch, said members of the public used A&E and primary care sparingly during the first national lockdown but Mixed messages And the Distrust of government This resulted in caution against the wind and the number of attendees increased accordingly.

“The nurses in my campus are afraid and exhausted – physically and emotionally,” she said. They have been dealing with this for months now, and now there are more people in hospitals than there were in March. Although we know a little more about how to treat people and the type of course of the disease process, it is still scary. It is very difficult and stressful to nurse this way without any family involvement and with complications present.

NHS employees the Guardian spoke to have expressed concerns about hospitals’ ability to reconcile the needs of Covid patients with those without the virus. To deal with the first wave, tens of thousands of planned operations were canceled. However, with Waiting Lists To reach record levels during the summerFunds are under pressure to remove the backlog while simultaneously dealing with the new influx of coronavirus cases.

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Consultant in Manchester, Who did not want to be named, said her hospital dealt with the first wave but, “The difference this time is that we are trying to continue all the optional activity and that will be a challenge.

I think we will manage the Covid cases. I am concerned now about whether we will be able to continue maintaining normal care for people who need their operations [and] Need cancer care.

“We were all worried that winter would bring with it another stress, but we were quietly hoping we’d have some immunity, but it wasn’t the case, and it’s pretty clear now that this is a bona fide second wave.”

On a personal level, she said she was also concerned about how to balance the demands of work and being a mother, when her school-age daughter “definitely” had to isolate herself because of her mother’s profession.

Simon Thornton, a nurse who specializes in heart failure at Royal Liverpool She repeated her worries about the winter and said her spirits were lower than they had been during the first wave.

“I have to decide if I bring them [outpatients] To hospital and endanger them, or leave them hanging in the wind where they might get sick, “Thornton said

“If we really stretch and Nightingale Hospitals Withdrawing staff, what will happen to my patients? Before the Coronavirus, the winter was always horrific anyway … I don’t see how it couldn’t be worse [this year]. “

Another Liverpool nurse, Carmel O’Boyle, who is also president of the Royal College of Nursing at Greater Liverpool and the Knowsley Branch, said members of the public had used A&E and primary care with caution during the first national lockdown but Mixed messages And the Distrust of government It has caused people to throw caution in the wind and rise in attendance accordingly.

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“The nurses in my campus are scared and exhausted – physically and emotionally,” she said. They have dealt with this for months and now there are more people in hospitals than there were in March. Although we know more about how to treat people and the type of disease process course, it is still scary. It’s too demanding and too cumbersome. “

Professor Dinesh Saralaya



Prof. Dinesh Saralaya Photo: Professor Dinesh Saralaya / Community of Guardians

Professor Dinesh Saralaya, Consultant Respiratory Medicine at Bradford, said winter was a “huge challenge,” exacerbated by Difficulty differentiating between Covid and influenzaBut the team was up to it.

“The number of patients in hospital with coronavirus has tripled in the past three weeks, but we completely cured it in Bradford – we didn’t have a Covid-free ward,” he said, “but as a medical team we can get to know it better and get better treatments.

“The first time it was a new disease, so feelings were rising, and The medical professionals were dying So we were They are treated like heroes “But the new is fading,” Saralaya said. We’ve had it for seven months now so we’ve given it up. We are continuing as we usually do, this is what we recorded as doctors and nurses. “