By Andrew  Atkinson COVID-19 special report

AS medical supplies/equipment continue to arrive in both the UK and Spain, due to shortages, NHS workers have appealed for scrubs and scrub bags – and are prepared to pay for them themselves!

A team of nurses at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital appealed: “Hi, we are a team of nurses at Chorley Hospital and we are desperate for some scrubs and scrub bags.

“We are willing to pay. Can anyone help?”.

The  NHS nurses are part of the Manchester and East Lancs scrub hub members.

The Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, is a NHS Foundation Trust.

The appeal came amidst a cargo plane with medical supplies/equipment arriving in Spain – the fourteenth since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown – arranged by regional government departments.

Paramedic students in my home city Preston at UClan (University of Central Lancashire) will be working with North West Ambulance to provide help – and urgent support – for patients.

Roles include help in the NHS 111 service and emergency operation centres, and as emergency care assistants with ambulance crews.

UClan teaching staff, specialising in physiotherapy, occupational therapy and operating department practice, are to return to the NHS. Work is to be undertaken in hospital and urgent care centres.

Additional staff are on standby – if needed by local NHS services.

UClan physiotherapy staff are working alongside colleagues at the Royal Preston Hospital and East Lancashire Hospital Trust in Blackburn.

An occupational therapy teaching team at UClan has also returned to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Dozens of final year physiotherapy and occupational therapy students have joined the Health Care Professions Council emergency temporary register.

“Rehabilitation starts within ICU and Allied Health Professionals enabling people to recover and return home is vital.

“Paramedic students will be providing important support to North West Ambulance Service – when the need is at its greatest,” said UClan Principal lecturer for School of Sport and Health Dr Anne Milston.

Offers of free food and drinks have been forthcoming for NHS workers, in support for working on the front line.

Teachers are also working to keep NHS children in school – and also preparing work for children, to receive education at home, should the need arise.

“The NHS will continue to work hard – no matter how hard things get – but let’s not forget the rest of the country doing their bit, working hard and helping others throughout this pandemic,” said a NHS worker.

The UK has recorded over 16,509 deaths from the coronavirus COVID-19. Confirmed cases of 124,743. Spain has recorded deaths of 20,852 (figures April 21).

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