Clap for carers: Nicola Sturgeon says NHS workers would prefer the public abide by rules than applaud them

NHS workers would prefer it if the public abided by lockdown rules rather than if they just clapped for them, the First Minister has said.

Speaking at her coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said she “strongly suspected” that health workers wanted Scots to “do everything we can to stop the virus spreading.”

“I saw talk yesterday of restarting the weekly clap for the NHS,” she explained, “although expanding it to include others who are contributing so much right now.

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“Let me be clear, in mentioning this don’t take it that I am in any way against that - anything we can do to show appreciation for those working so hard on our behalf is important,” Ms Sturgeon continued.

NHS workers would prefer it if the public abided by lockdown rules rather than if they just clapped for them, the First Minister has said. (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)
NHS workers would prefer it if the public abided by lockdown rules rather than if they just clapped for them, the First Minister has said. (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

“But I strongly suspect that what most frontline NHS workers want from the public right now is for all of us to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading.”

Her comments came as unions warned this morning that health workers “have no more left to give”.

The Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS boards across Scotland have been struggling to cope this week under the pressure of winter illness, ice and snow leading to increased falls, and a surge in Covid-19 cases.

“It’s always said that staff morale is at its lowest ever, but I think genuinely we’re entering a really difficult time for the NHS,” warned Graeme Eunson, chair of the Consultant’s Committee at BMA Scotland.

Addressing the increasing pressure on NHS Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said today: “Staying at home is how all of us can help our National Health Service do the incredibly difficult job it has on its hands right now.

“Our NHS is coping...but it is under severe and increasing pressure.

“Every single person who gets infected with this virus is someone who might need hospital care in future.

“So the more all of us stay at home and reduce the opportunities for the virus to spread, the more all of us help the NHS to cope.”

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