Coronavirus: Derry carer 'frightened' for her life

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Carer helping patient eatImage source, Science Photo Library

A Londonderry carer has said she is "frightened" for her life and those of her colleagues because of a lack of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

The carer, who is employed by the Western Trust, said some carers feel "let down", "expendable" and they are not being given adequate resources.

"We are angry at how we are being treated," she told BBC Radio Foyle.

The trust said PPE is a "key priority" and that staff who needed it, could access it.

The care worker of 20 years, who asked to remain anonymous, said her "biggest concern" was not being supplied with face masks from the trust and having to rely on donations from members of the community.

'Up their game'

Another major concern the care worker raised was their current uniforms.

"We asked for new uniforms, the uniforms we wear do not open out, so we have to pull those uniforms up over our heads when we come home and undress.

"That is another source of contamination, that is going to come across my nose, my mouth and my eyes," she said.

She also said that due to a lack of testing, she and her colleagues did not know if they or the people they cared for have the disease.

"When I go into a house, all it takes is a cough or a sneeze to transfer this disease.

"It's not just someone is going to get sick, someone could actually die," she said.

Image source, Science Photo Library

'Trust indebted to staff'

In a statement, the Western Trust said they want to reassure staff that PPE is a "key priority" for trust management.

They said all staff who need PPE are able to "access it in line with their normal processes".

The trust said any staff with concerns should raise these with their line manager.

On testing, the trust said a staff testing service is now operational across the Western Trust.

They said they are "indebted to staff" throughout this "very challenging time".