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Whilst the streets and towns seem quiet, the hospitals are amid chaos.
It’s uncommon, in fact it’s unheard of, to retire from the profession you’re in only to be asked by the government to return many years later. With the current pandemic causing much more of a strain on the NHS than it can accommodate, pleads to get as many helping hands back in the workforce are being heard now more than ever.
In a strange way, the outbreak has brought out the very best in people, showing their tenacity during a time which has been described as the most challenging for the UK. Since the outbreak was confirmed in the UK on the 31st January, 20,000 healthcare professionals have re-joined their former careers, to do what they do best and save lives.
There are slight concerns between a small group of retired nurses, who are cautious they may fall into the vulnerable category and understandably are reluctant to join the front line of workers, preferring to assist with 111 calls. With the helpline seeing a 40% increase in calls, their assistance is making a significant impact, as they are able to offer their professional help to those in need.
On top of this, 750,000 individuals have volunteered to be an NHS Volunteer Responder through GoodSam, exceeding the original target of 100,000 people. The duties a volunteer is expected to undertake are delivering medicines, driving patients to and from hospital appointments and calling people self-isolating at home, relieving the professionals of their workload.
NHS Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens, was overwhelmed by the response of the British public: “I can’t thank those enough who have pledged to devote their time to helping others at what is a challenging and uncertain time for you and your families. The NHS is always there for you – now is your time to be there for us too.”
With 1.5 million people in the UK falling into the ‘vulnerable’ category, there is a huge pressure on the NHS, which is why it is so important everyone plays their part during this time. Those individuals who can’t offer their professional help, must play their part by self-isolating at this time. The virus can spread from person to person in as little as 15 minutes and symptoms can vary in person to person, which lures people into a false sense of security.
The only possible way to get through a time like this, in which no one has experienced before, is by working together. From the professionals, to the volunteers, and all those who are doing their bit by self-isolating and staying at home, we are all playing a part in making the world a little bit more of a safer place.
As someone who is currently going through the difficulties of having Coronavirus, I am blown away by the sheer tenacity and selflessness of these healthcare professionals, who are essentially risking their own lives in order to help those more vulnerable to them. It shows us the core values our healthcare staff hold to selflessly help others in a time of need.