Coronavirus live news: UK records a further 121 Covid deaths and 5,534 cases; Germany warns cases could hit Christmas peak by April | World news

The trauma of watching thousands of patients die during the Covid-19 pandemic will force many intensive care staff out of healthcare unless they get substantial mental health support, the charity that represents ICU workers has warned.

The Intensive Care Society said half of ICU staff needed psychological support to help them deal with their experiences and added that some had already left their professions.

“This pandemic is the greatest crisis we’ve seen in a century,” said Dr Stephen Webb, the ICS president. “There is a danger that we will lose further staff in the future. We know there’s a risk of people falling ill, wanting to leave – not just intensive care but healthcare completely.”

Research from King’s College London in January showed that 45% of ICU staff in England suffered severe anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health problems after the first wave, and the second wave had been even worse, Webb said.

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