The nurses that treated Boris Johnson for coronavirus are real UK nurses

17 April 2020
What was claimed

The nurses that Boris Johnson claimed saved his life are not registered in the UK.

Our verdict

This is incorrect. We found both nurses on the register.

A Facebook post claiming that two of the nurses who treated Prime Minister Boris Johnson for coronavirus are not registered in the UK has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook.

However, this claim is incorrect. 

Nurses Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma were singled out and thanked in a video by Boris Johnson after he left St Thomas’ hospital following his treatment. However, following the message both nurses were accused of not being real frontline workers. 

The claim that nurse Jenny McGee does not appear on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register is false—a Jennifer McGee registered in South East London is on the list. The post also suggests that as she does not seem to be the same Jennifer McGee who appears on the Nursing Council of New Zealand’s register that this casts doubt on whether she is a real nurse. 

It is true that the Jennifer McGee registered in New Zealand is not the same as that registered in London—they both have different middle names for example. Multiple media outlets reported that Jenny McGee has worked in both Australia and in the UK for almost a decade as a nurse after training in New Zealand. Nurses in New Zealand can only register after they have completed their qualifications and nurses registering in the UK do not need to have registered in the country they trained in provided they can provide other details about their qualifications.

The claim that Luis Pitarma does not appear on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register is also false. He doesn’t appear initially if you only search the name Luis Pitarma, but if you search for his full name then he does appear and the register shows that he is registered in South East London. 

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because both nurses are registered in the UK.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.