Coronavirus: Job offer retracted over PPE criticism, claims nurse

By Michele Paduano
BBC Midlands health correspondent

  • Published
Kay Perry
Image caption,
Kay Perry said she was "distraught" when the job offer was retracted

A job offer was retracted by a hospital trust after a nurse spoke out about a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), she has claimed.

Kay Perry said she was offered a job as a Band 6 Sister at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH).

However, after criticising PPE on social media she said she received a call to say the offer had been rescinded.

The trust said it was investigating the claims.

Ms Perry, from Coleshill in Warwickshire, has worked in the NHS for more than 20 years and was most recently working as an A&E nurse at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital. She had worked at the trust for 18 months before the job offer in March.

She said she was "ecstatic" when she was offered the new job and while she was waiting for paperwork to be processed was continuing to work as an agency nurse.

Image caption,
One of Ms Perry's Facebook posts

When the coronavirus pandemic broke out she had some some agency shifts at Sandwell Hospital, in West Bromwich, where she said she felt "very safe, very prepared".

But she said she was left "horrified" during a shift at Telford on 21 March and said levels of PPE were "astounding low".

"The doctors were fighting over masks," she said. "I had two members of staff, nurses, fighting over the last visor, it was horrendous.

"I felt like I couldn't do my job properly that night."

Ms Perry said she raised concerns to senior staff and also on Facebook, but removed them after being told it was not the right forum to air complaints.

She also stopped working as an agency nurse at the hospital because of her fears.

Then on 6 April, Ms Perry said she received a call saying the trust was retracting the job offer. She said she was told she had been "too vocal" and her "behaviour was bad" at a training session and other nurses had reported her.

"I was really distraught when the position was relinquished. I couldn't believe it."

Image caption,
The trust said it has spoken to Ms Perry and is investigating the issues raised

Ms Perry, who has lost three former colleagues to coronavirus, said while she would not return to the trust, she would continue to be a voice for those with concerns.

"I want everyone to know how the nurses feel and how the healthcare staff feel," she said. "I've already lost three colleagues, I don't want to lose any more.

"We signed up to be nurses, we signed up to be kind, caring, compassionate. We should be safe, they should allow us the safe protection we need to do our job."

Maggie Bayley, interim chief nurse at the trust, said: "We encourage staff to raise concerns through appropriate channels, so we can support them in their role and make changes to improve the way we work.

"I thank Kay for our constructive conversation, following which the issues raised will be investigated, and we will remain in touch."

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