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Heroic Whittington A&E workers urge people to ‘stay home’ after being brought to tears by Clap for Carers applause

PUBLISHED: 09:58 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:51 27 March 2020

Doctors and nurses from the Whittington's A&E department ask people to stay at home. Picture: Anna Sweeney

Doctors and nurses from the Whittington's A&E department ask people to stay at home. Picture: Anna Sweeney

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A&E workers at the Whittington Hospital were brought to tears by the outpouring of support across the UK on Thursday night – and have now responded with their own message.

An image posted on social media on Friday morning shows doctors and nurses from the Archway hospital holding up pieces of paper with a message saying: “We stay here for you, please stay home for us.”

Senior sister Anna Sweeney told the Gazette the idea came partly as a response to the millions of people across the UK who applauded NHS staff in the Clap for Carers salute at 8pm on Thursday.

“At work we have already been hit hard by the virus with a lot of patients coming through the door day and night,” Anna said.

“We are a really close team and are trying to support each other as best we can through a very scary and exhausting time.

“We decided to do the photo last night almost in response to the clapping. We were too busy sadly in the department to come outside and see but we saw the videos online and we were so touched. Many of us were brought to tears by the enormity of the outpouring.

“However, we need the public to understand how vital it is to stay at home so that the NHS can support them if they do become unwell.

“I thought setting up the photo would send the message that no matter what we will come to work and we will do everything we can to look after them but we therefore need them to stay at home so that we can cope.”

The Clap for Carers campaign, which started online, was staged because “during these unprecedented times they need to know we are grateful”, according to the organisers.

In an Instagram message to mark the event, the Queen said the country was “enormously thankful” to the people on the frontline of the UK’s response to the virus, which causes the Covid-19 disease.

She said the UK was grateful “for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services”.

Meanwhile the Whittington has insisted it does have enough beds for coronavirus patients after one of its consultants claimed it could run out by the weekend.

As of Thursday there were 91 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Haringey and 96 in Islington, with many more undiagnosed.

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