DOCTORS and nurses have spoken about the heartbreak of seeing patients die with Covid-19 as they urged the public to get a booster vaccination before Hogmanay.

Clinicians from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) stressed that hospitals were already nearing capacity and that staff were tired from relentless pressure.

And they warned people not to become complacent due to reports that Omicron causes less severe illness than other variants.

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Dr Claire Harrow, chief of medicine for Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and the Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria, said: “I’ve been on Covid wards since March 2020 and seeing people die from Covid-19 has been absolutely heartbreaking.

“We are trying our best to look after all our patients but our hospitals are nearly at capacity looking after non-Covid-19 patients.

“We’re experiencing staffing challenges due to Covid-19 and our teams are tired from the relentless pressure being put on them.

“The one thing the public can do is to get boosted to help minimise further spread of this awful virus.”

Dr Andy Mackay, clinical director and consultant in critical care at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow, said it was vital that people got their booster jab.

He said: “Our critical care units and hospitals are already very busy. My colleagues and I continue to do our best for our patients but it’s essential that we all do what we can to prevent the additional avoidable stress of Covid-19 on the health service.”

John Carson, chief nurse at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, urged people not to delay getting a booster in case it disrupted the holidays.

He said hospitals were already in an “extremely difficult” position.

“We can’t afford for it to get worse,” he said.

“Please get the vaccine – it only takes a short time out of your day and the side effects for the vast majority are very mild.

“This is a very small trade-off to help support the health service, and the only way we’ll be able to survive through the winter.”

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Dr Umberto Fazzi, consultant surgeon at QEUH, said: “You may be hearing in the press that Omicron might result in less severe illness.

“However, this doesn’t mean you won’t need hospital treatment and so please make sure you’ve had your vaccines and been boosted.

“Our hospitals are already very busy and we all need to do as much as possible to take pressure off them.”

Thousands of new vaccine clinics have opened across NHSGGC in recent weeks and an army of additional vaccinators have been recruited.

Anyone eligible can book their booster online or can attend a drop-in clinic, the details of which are available on the NHSGGC website.