Nurse who treated Boris Johnson resigns over government's ‘lack of respect’

By Finlay Greig
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 2:28 pm
Jenny McGee alongside Boris Johnson during what she described as "a photo opportunity" (Getty Images)

A nurse who cared for Boris Johnson when he was ill with Covid-19 has resigned citing a “lack of respect” from the government for the NHS.

The Guardian reported that Jenny McGee who stood by Johnson’s side for two days when he was intensive care, stated “we’re not getting the respect and now pay that we deserve. I’m just sick of it. So I’ve handed in my resignation.”

She also alleged that the prime minister’s staff had put pressure on her to take part in a “clap for the NHS” photo opportunity.

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The comments were made during a Channel 4 documentary which is set to air later this month.

The documentary coincides with the anniversary of Dominic Cummings’ breaching of lockdown rules, which the documentary paints as a turning point in the country’s togetherness in the Covid-19 response.

What did Jenny McGee say? 

Jenny McGee, who was an intensive care nurse at St Thomas’ hospital, described the first moment she encountered Boris Johnson.

She said: “All around him there was lots and lots of sick patients, some of whom were dying. I remember seeing him and thinking he looked very, very unwell. He was a different colour really.”

But, McGee, originally from New Zealand, went on to criticise the government’s Covid-19 response.

She said: “Lots of nurses felt that the government hadn’t led very effectively – the indecisiveness, so many mixed messages. It was just very upsetting.”

On the clap for carers event at Downing Street, she said: “it would have been a really good photo opportunity. You know, kind of like Boris and his NHS friends, but I wanted to stay out of it. Lots of nurses felt that the government hadn’t led very effectively, the indecisiveness, so many mixed messages. It was just very upsetting”.

“Yes, we have put ourselves on the line and we have worked so incredibly hard, and there’s a lot of talk about how we’re all heroes and all that sort of stuff. But at the same time, I’m just not sure if I can do it. I don’t know how much more I’ve got to give to the NHS.”

McGee also detailed the horrendous situation in hospitals leading up to Christmas, stating: “this time there was more than the first surge. The nurses are stretched even more. An absolute s**tshow to be honest. At that point, I don’t know how to describe the horrendousness of what we were going through. We were desperate.”

Letter of resignation

Jenny McGee announced her resignation this morning via Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust.

She wrote: “After the toughest year of my nursing career, I’m taking a step back from the NHS but hope to return in the future. I’m excited to start a nursing contract in the Caribbean, before a holiday back home in New Zealand later in the year.

“I’m so proud to have worked at St Thomas’ hospital and to have been part of such a fantastic team.”