Coronavirus: NHS worker forced to set up fundraising page for essential supplies

NHS nurses in Wolverhampton at a COVID-19 testing facility. (Getty)

An NHS worker has set up a fundraising page to buy essential supplies for medical staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Medical researcher Sterling Amber asked for donations on a GoFundMe page so he could purchase meals, snacks, toiletries and other items.

He said staff were still finding it difficult to get what they needed at supermarkets despite stores reserving special times for NHS workers to shop.

Shelves have been stripped of essential items such as toilet rolls, hand sanitiser, paracetamol, meat, fruit and vegetables as shoppers ignored pleas not to stockpile.

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Empty supermarket shelves. (Getty)

Sterling Amber, who works at the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, wrote: "100% of all donations will go towards buying essential supplies – meals, snacks, toiletries etc – for NHS staff working long and unbelievably challenging shifts dealing with the influx of COVID-19 cases.”

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He added: “After a long shift, we think struggling to find something to eat in an empty grocery store should be the last thing that any of our dedicated NHS heroes should have to face right now.

“ALL donations will be used to purchase essential supplies which are delivered directly to the UCLH COVID-19 Centre at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery."

Boris Johnson has spoken to supermarket bosses about efforts to keep supplies flowing and how to overcome the panic-buying.

A graph showing the rise in the number of countries with coronavirus. (PA)

The government has also been accused of not providing enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS staff.

The chair of the Doctors’ Association UK, Dr Rinesh Parmar, claimed medics will be forced to leave the profession over a lack of equipment available to safely treat patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries has insisted there was enough PPE available for NHS staff across the UK.

During a webchat on Mumsnet on Wednesday, she said: “There is kit available to go around the country currently.”

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Health secretary Matt Hancock has promised a “military effort” to get equipment to health and social care workers.

On Tuesday, he said a new hotline had been set up for staff to call if they are running low on supplies.

He said 7.5 million pieces of protective equipment, including face masks, had been shipped out to frontline workers in the previous day.