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Coronavirus Kent: Maidstone nurse diagnosed with Covid-19 one week after returning to NHS frontline urges people to stay home

A nurse from Aylesford is having to self-isolate after contracting coronavirus just one week after returning to the NHS frontline.

Victoria Hume returned to her former job in A&E at Maidstone Hospital after an 18-month break. She rejoined as part of the government's plea for NHS workers to return to former roles.

Victoria Hume has been diagnosed with coronavirus just one week after returning to work
Victoria Hume has been diagnosed with coronavirus just one week after returning to work

The 42-year-old took a Covid-19 test on Friday after experiencing mild symptoms and was diagnosed on Saturday morning.

Mrs Hume says she wants people to start taking the government restrictions seriously.

"It's so frustrating because I returned to work at the hospital because I wanted to help, and now I can't because I'm having to stay at home for two weeks.

"I don't know where I caught the disease, it probably wasn't even from the hospital, I could have caught it anywhere."

Hospitals around the country have experienced a shortage in personal protective equipment (PPE) since the outbreak first took hold.

Victoria Hume was diagnosed with coronavirus despite having access to PPE
Victoria Hume was diagnosed with coronavirus despite having access to PPE

Mrs Hume says this has not been a problem in Maidstone Hospital.

"There was no problem getting PPE, the hospital had plenty available and everyone was wearing it correctly which is why I think I might have caught it elsewhere.

"My husband Matt works for the MET Police so it could have been through his work, it also could have been from the supermarket.

"People need to start taking this seriously and stay at home because it's stopping me from helping out."

Mrs Hume left nursing 18 months ago to focus her attention on working at Maidstone Aesthetics, a private clinic on Aylesford High Street she set up more than 10 years ago.

Mrs Hume has spent the last 18 months working in her clinic, Maidstone Aesthetics
Mrs Hume has spent the last 18 months working in her clinic, Maidstone Aesthetics

"I had more than 20 years in the NHS and I've only been gone a short while so falling back into the role has been fine. It's just a very different hospital now with coronavirus.

"The wards have been converted and the hallways are empty as there are restrictions on friends and families visiting.

"I'm mainly working with my old colleagues which is nice but there's not much I can do from home.

"I want to tell the public not to take this lightly and to be vigilant in their cleanliness. It's not worth going outside."

Mrs Hume says she has been experiencing mild symptoms of the virus and is hoping to return to work as soon as possible.

"As long as I'm fit and able, I should be fine to go back just after the bank holiday weekend.

"I'm doing okay, I'm a bit tired today and I have a cough but my symptoms are quite mild in comparison to others. I'm more worried for my children."

Victoria is self-isolating with her husband Matt and two daughters Lottie, seven, and Hattie, four.

She said: "We're spending the time in isolation homeschooling and my husband is working from home.

"My daughter Lottie will be celebrating her eighth birthday in isolation which she's not too pleased about.

"We're trying to think of ways we can still make it special for her.

"I really want to press on people that despite the nice weather they do need to take this seriously.

"I desperately want to get back and continue to help."

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