Dying coronavirus patients forced to borrow phones from NHS staff to say goodbye to families

DYING coronavirus patients are borrowing phones from NHS staff so they can say a final goodbye to their families.

A senior doctor at a London hospital today described the heartbreaking reality of those fighting for their lives in intensive care.

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Most hospitals are not allowing family members to see their dying loved ones in a bid to prevent the deadly bug from spreading.

This has seen a number of hospital workers lending patients their phones so they can make one-last call to their family.

One nurse told the Evening Standard: “If you are lucky, you might be allowed once to see your dying relative. But only in some hospitals.

“In others, staff lend their phones to let dying patients say goodbye. I asked my dad’s partner 'can you get dad an iPhone and show him how to use it?'


"Otherwise, if he’s admitted to hospital he’s really on his own."

It comes as the UK coronavirus death toll hit a new high after 786 deaths were recorded – bringing the total past 6,000 on the deadliest day so far.

Positive cases have risen to 55,242 from 51,608 yesterday as Britain continues to be gripped by the deadly disease.

The death toll had dropped for two days in a row after yesterday's number of victims fell from 621 to 439 taking the overall total to 5,373.

Staff lend their phones to let dying patients say goodbye.

But this is the same pattern as last Monday when the death toll dropped for two days running – suggesting a possible lag in deaths recorded over the weekend.

The Department of Health (DoH) revealed the total death toll is now at 6,159 – up from 5,373 the day before.

During the outbreak, doctors have been told to restrict visitors in intensive care wards and encourage patients to use phones and video calling instead of face-to-face visits.

However, some hospitals are making an exception where one family member may be able to visit – and the NHS is urging people to check with hospitals.


The NHS provided an update on its website, saying: "To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), most hospitals have stopped or significantly limited visits.

"Check the hospital website to find out what their advice is. You can search for hospital details if you're not sure what they are."

Meanwhile, the Queen today wished Boris Johnson a speedy recovery and sent a message of support to his pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds.

Buckingham Palace this afternoon said Her Majesty had been in touch to offer her best wishes, after the PM was taken into intensive care last night.

Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke of Cambridge have sent their best wishes too.

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The Royal Family tweeted this lunchtime: "Earlier today The Queen sent a message to Carrie Symonds and to the Johnson family.

"Her Majesty said they were in her thoughts and that she wished the Prime Minister a full and speedy recovery."

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall also sent their best wishes for a speedy recovery to the Prime Minister this morning.

The Duke of Cambridge said: "Our thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family, who like so many in the UK and around the world are affected by coronavirus.

"We wish him a speedy recovery at this difficult time."

The news comes after the PM was rushed into intensive care last night – and has spent the night there.

This morning No10 said he was "stable" and "in good spirits" – and was not using a ventilator.

They said he continued to have oxygen but is still able to breathe unassisted.


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