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Welsh long-Covid campaigner to appear alongside other forgotten frontline heroes on Panorama special tonight

30 Jan 2023 3 minute read
Sarah Sutton receiving treatment after contracting Long Covid

A Welsh long-Covid campaigner who joined forces with other forgotten frontline heroes to demand compensation will have her story told alongside other key workers on a Panorama special tonight.

Former midwife, Sarah Sutton is part of a group of campaigners who have been battling to secure compensation for key workers who contracted long-Covid whilst working during the pandemic.

Sarah was making house calls as a midwife in Newport in 2020 when she caught Covid-19 and the illness was so serious she has been unable to work since.

She started a movement demanding compensation from Westminster alongside fellow keyworkers Cass Macdonald from Edinburgh and Rachel Hext from Devon after special arrangements that allowed full pay for NHS staff who had become ill with Covid-19 ended.

Tonight, the stories of key workers unable to pay their bills due to battling the illness years after first contracting it will feature in a special program.

Sarah Sutton before falling ill with Covid-19

The trio started a petition calling for compensation and pensions for key workers across all sectors suffering with long-Covid and it currently stands at around 70,000 signatures.

Sarah said: “It’s not just people in the NHS, its bus and taxi drivers and so many others who suffered so much after working during a hard time for the country and who now have no support.

“There are a lot of people who don’t have the visible union support like the NHS do, so we wanted to broaden the campaign to include all key workers who suffer with long-Covid.

“People did their jobs, now they’re losing their homes – unfortunately, claps don’t pay the bills.”

Almost three years on from contracting the virus, 43-year-old Sarah is still feeling the effect and as a result has never been well enough to return to her job as a midwife.

Sarah said: “There was a point I thought I would be able to have a phased return to work. But the pneumonia came back and I was in hospital again with breathing problems.”

Sarah had only just qualified as a mid-wife when’s she caught Covid-19 and says she had years ahead of her to pay into her pension if she hadn’t fallen ill.

Sarah said: “I’m a mother, I still need to be a parent and I only have about an hour’s worth of energy a day. My husband has had to take on a second job and we could lose our home because we can’t pay our bills.”

Panorama: Forgotten Heroes of the Covid Front Line will air tonight on BBC One at 8:00pm.

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