Health care workers have expressed some of the challenges they are facing and how their daily routines have changed due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Will Hancock helps to manage the NHS 111 helpline for Covid-19. He shared how they are dealing with the increased use of the 111 service.
Many patients calling the help line have not used it before. This therefore means that staff are adapting their scripts to deal with the high volume of callers. Mr Hancock said: “The call-handling capability capacity is not sufficient to cope with the current demands.”
Mr Hancock says they are also advising people to use the 111 service online to help manage the increase of calls and further ensure people are getting the information they need. They are recruiting former doctors and nurses to help control the pandemic within our hospitals.
Doctors’ surgeries have been closing to do deep cleans and have urged the public not to go into their local GP surgery if experiencing symptoms. Instead they are being advised to self isolate at home.
It is not just former doctors and nurses returning to work in order to help with the outbreak. Health care services have reached out to the general public for volunteers to help as call-centre workers or frontline staff.
Staff members are working longer hours, temporary hospitals are set to open, the St John Ambulance service has stepped in to help with callouts and volunteers are appearing from all parts of the country.
“I’m doing 13-hour shifts, six days a week”
Declan Reed, Dispatching controller
Declan Reed, a dispatching controller for a private ambulance service, explained how they were coping with the pandemic and how it had affected what would have been their usual day.
He expressed concerns over people having to self isolate themselves because “that means we lose a resource and that means it’s going to be much more difficult to get patients into their appointments”. Not only is it affecting patients: Mr Reed has also been affected during this time as he is now working “13-hour shifts six days a week” in order to help out the best he can.
To show just how much the general public appreciate those keys workers, on Thursday 26th March and every Thursday onwards members of the public up and down the UK are doing a “clap for carers” at 8pm as a way to say thank-you whilst still being able to follow the NHS advice and government guidelines.
— jack🚩 (@_jackhy) March 26, 2020