13 Mar 2020

99% of frontline staff say NHS can’t cope with coronavirus

Only one per cent of medical staff working on our healthcare frontline feel the NHS is coping with the Coronavirus outbreak, a Channel 4 News survey exclusively reveals.

Almost 1000 NHS staff were surveyed about preparedness of our national health system for treating covid-19 for a special 1-hour programme tonight at 8pm called Coronavirus: Are We Doing Enough?

92 per cent of those surveyed said that there were inadequate facilities and staff to treat the virus, while 97 per cent said there was insufficient protection for NHS staff.

Meanwhile, as the WHO says that Europe has become the new epicentre of the covid-19 epidemic, 98 per cent of frontline staff believe that the NHS is badly positioned to face a rapidly increasing number of cases. 94 per cent of respondents said that the UK response has been too slow to prevent the virus escalating.

Yesterday the government set out its new plan of action to tackle the virus – advising those showing symptoms to stay at home for seven days but saying it would not close schools or ban large events.

The full results of our survey are below:

Are you receiving clear guidance on responding to Coronavirus? 

Yes – 22.65%

No – 77.35%


Within your own healthcare establishment, are there adequate facilities and staff to treat Coronavirus patients, such as isolation areas, specialist beds, medicines?

Yes – 7.65%

No- 92.35%


Do you feel there is enough protection in place from Coronavirus for NHS staff working on the frontline?

Yes – 2.92%

No – 97.08%


Has PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) been freely available to staff?

Yes – 13.66%

No – 86.34%


Do you believe the NHS is in a good position to face rapidly increasing numbers of cases as the outbreak reaches its peak?

Yes – 1.46%

No – 98.54%


Do you believe the UK response has been quick enough in order to prevent the escalation of the virus?

Yes – 5.85%

No – 94.15%


Do you believe the UK has implemented strong enough measures to prevent the escalation of the virus?

Yes – 4.81%

No – 95.19%


Channel 4 News surveyed 961 frontline NHS staff between Wednesday 11th March and Friday 13th March 2010.