A self-isolating MP has said the health service’s 111 helpline has been “absolutely inundated” due to the changing advice about the coronavirus outbreak.
The SNP’s Dr Lisa Cameron revealed on Friday she had Covid-19 symptoms and had been told to self-isolate for seven days.
Although she has not been officially diagnosed with the virus following a change to guidance about who needs to be tested, Dr Cameron said she was feeling “very, very tired,” adding: “Exhaustion has been the largest symptom for me.”
Speaking via videolink on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday show, Cameron said she thought the NHS 111 number was being kept so busy due to official advice and guidance being updated so often.
Cameron, who is a clinical psychologist and MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, said: “I think the service has been absolutely inundated.
“I know when I called back on Thursday I waited about two hours for a response but it is because they were totally inundated, so I think the service probably has to deal with this around the clock so I can’t fault that at all, they are doing an amazing job in this situation.
“I think it’s difficult because the strategy and the messaging appears to have changed for people who have the symptoms.
“At first it was keep calm and carry on, it wasn’t anything to worry about, just go on as normal and then as things progressed and actually as my cough developed, that was totally different.
“It is understandable as symptoms develop but you feel a bit in the dark with it and you don’t know how long to expect the symptoms for. ”
Asked about her experience of self-isolating while her husband and children were still in the house, she said: “I have been trying as much as possible to stay in a different room from them but occasionally they will burst into the room and I’ll have to remind them, no, you can’t come in here.
“It’s really difficult. You want to hug your children, you want to be with them – but for their safety and their health, you are pretty much keeping away from them.”
Cameron revealed that she hopes to return to work “within the next couple of weeks” but, having not been tested, she is unsure of how long the symptoms will last and added: “I think you just have to take it a day at a time.”
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?