NHS staff are warned not to wear uniforms outside work and hide ID badges after doctors and nurses are abused, spat at and mugged amid coronavirus lockdown
- Nurses advised not to wear their uniforms in public or show ID badges
- It comes after petty crime wave hit NHS staff during the coronavirus lockdown
- ‘I’m not surprised. We are easy targets’ says nurse working on the frontline
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Nurses and other NHS staff are being heckled in the street, spat at and called ‘disease spreaders’ as they head to work on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.
The shocking revelation comes after healthcare workers were revealed to be the victims of petty thieves looking to steal cash and NHS ID badges.
The spate of crime and vitriol has led to nurses being told not to wear their uniforms in public, for fear of being targeted.
‘I’m not surprised, sadly. I know people are worried and upset and we are easy targets,’ one nurse told The Times.
University College Hospital, pictured on March 18, has seen its staff targeted by muggers in the past week. Doctors and nurses are now being told not to wear uniform on their way into to work
Last week MailOnline reported on doctors, a community care nurse and an A&E receptionist all having various items stolen including medical kit, a car and cash.
On Thursday nurses were sent an email advising them not to wear uniform, while other medical staff have been told not to show their NHS ID badges.
The email read: ‘Until further notice, can all nurses no longer wear their uniforms to travel to and from their place of work,’ according to The Times.
‘I’m not surprised, sadly. I know people are worried and upset and we are easy targets,’ one nurse told the paper.
Last week a doctor in Harlow, Essex was approached by a gang of three youths who took him to a cash machine and forced him to withdraw cash.
More than £500 has been raised since a community nurse from Manchester had her car stolen from her drive last Wednesday. The car had her medical kit inside.
Two weeks ago thieves targeted two doctors outside Lewisham Hospital and tried to steal their NHS badges.
Nurses are being called ‘disease spreaders’ while being heckled in the streets, according to Royal College of Nursing director Susan Masters. Stock picture
The thieves, who approached the staff members as they walked through a park around the back of the hospital, were unsuccessful.
A similar incident is now thought to have happened at University College Hospital, after two doctors were mugged nearby.
Staff are now being told to keep their badges hidden and only show them to official staff or to a patient.
Abuse against healthcare staff is on the rise, despite being on the frontline, trying to help the country in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Susan Masters, the Royal College of Nursing’s director of policy, told The Times: ‘I hear from community nurses that they are being heckled at and verbally abused and called ‘disease spreaders’. This is abhorrent behaviour, it must stop.’