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The Unsung NHS Heroes

          Every Thursday at eight o’clock, we clap for our NHS heroes.  But who really makes up the NHS? The NHS doesn’t only have doctors and nurses but it also boasts different groups of frontliners fighting the Covid 19 pandemic. They make up the multidisciplinary team that keeps each NHS Trust going and functioning to its full potential to adapt to the challenges during this health crisis. While most Filipinos came here in the UK to work as nurses, some of our “kababayans” work in the NHS in areas other than nursing. Let’s applaud them and extend our warmest gratitude for continuing to keep the NHS running to provide excellent service to the public. 


They keep the hospital clean and tidy. They help other healthcare workers eliminate infection by deep cleaning the wards, rooms, and all corners and surfaces in the hospital. They are the experts in cleaning and disinfecting those areas that had been used to provide care or treatment to Covid patients. Imagine a healthcare facility without them, the infection rate would probably be a lot higher.


They are the bridge that connects the nurses from their departments to other parts of the hospital. They also give nurses a hand with herculean tasks. They’re always on the go,and rarely you will see them stop moving. From helping transferring patients from point A to point B to transporting almost everything, they always achieve thousands steps a day as they go around the hospital to get the job done. 


The team consists of head of facilities, catering manager, dieticians, nutritionists and food handlers. The catering team ensures that clean, high quality food and drink is served on time for patients and staff. This pandemic calls for extra vigilance on cleanliness and handling of food is no exception.

Nutrition also plays a vital role in patients’ recovery. By providing meals that meet the nutritional needs of each patient, these workers not only contribute to patients’ wellbeing but also promote rehabilitation and faster recuperation. 


HCAs perform patient care within bounds of their competence. They help out the nurses and doctors in providing care and independent interventions to patients, Nurses usually delegate tasks to HCAs. Depending on their experience, they perform a wide range of tasks that ease the workload of nurses. Having direct contact with patients all the time, they surely help them get better. They monitor the patients, perform observations, hygienic measures, helping to serve meals just to name a few. 


Behind a blazing blue-light ambulance are the paramedics attending to a life threatening situation. They are always first on the scene to bring poorly patients to the hospital as fast as they can. They are trained to provide life saving measures and quickly respond to deteriorating patients. 


The Covid 19’s worst complication is severe difficulty of breathing. When oxygen levels start to plummet, intubation is imminent to save the life of the patient. The ventilator will help with the breathing and gas exchange to sustain life. The ODP’s are the compulsory ally of an anaesthetist to perform intubation. They have broad knowledge in airway management, anaesthesia and surgery as well as dealing with cardiac arrests. With the transferable skills they can offer, some have been redeployed to the Intensive Therapy Unit to ease the burden of low staffing levels in response to the surge of Covid admissions in ITU. 


Radiographers provide images that a doctor's bare eyes can’t see. They work with machines and technological devices to produce X-rays, CT Scans, MRI and ultrasound which help the doctors diagnose the patient's condition and thereby make an appropriate treatment plan for each patient. During this Covid 19, radiographers help provide images of a patient's lung using CT scan so doctor’s can see if pneumonia is present as well as the extent of lung damage. 


Pharmacists dispense medicines not only in the NHS hospitals but also provide services to the community setting. With the rising demands due to Covid, pharmacists are surely swamped with prescriptions to dispense. They also counsel patients about prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and they also guide physicians if needed.

This trying time made the world realise how important these keyworkers ( including doctors and nurses) are. They are the backbone of society with which our health and well-being survive. And for all your dedication, hardwork, grit and bravery, all we can say is..

Tags: NHS, OFW, healthcare, Filipino UK Nurses, front line workers

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