Military begin coronavirus support at hospital
- Credit: Archant
A team of 30 military personnel has begun work as healthcare assistants at Norfolk's largest hospital.
The military technicians are working alongside clinical staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as healthcare assistants following the announcement last week.
A hospital spokesman said the military assistance is now onsite alongside 60 new permanent healthcare assistants.
The hospital is also being helped by retired NHS staff joining its temporary nurse bank and staff from theatres, research, outpatients and education being redeployed to help Covid wards.
A spokesperson for the NHS in the East of England said: "The NHS is grateful to the military personnel working in hospitals in the East, alongside doctors, nurses and others who have returned to the NHS front line and tens of thousands of St John volunteers working across the country.
"The NHS has 50,000 more staff now working in the health service than a year ago all working round the clock to respond to unprecedented pressure on the NHS.”
The support from the military has come after the NHS, through the Norfolk Resilience Forum, asking if it could provide what is known as mutual aid - making staff available to give the NHS assistance, for the next four weeks - in a signal of just how much pressure the county's hospitals are under.
Earlier this week, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service confirmed 50 fire service staff are ready to be deployed as part of emergency response to each pressure on Norfolk hospitals.
More than 70 fire service staff drove ambulances to help East of England Ambulance Service between April and July last year - doing 982 shifts.
None of the volunteers have been allocated yet to the Norfolk and Norwich but discussions are being held between the service and hospital over what is needed.
At the county's two other hospitals, 15 firefighters are supporting the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn.
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Firefighters will be helping to carry out Covid swab tests and fit personal protective masks for staff, for an initial seven day period.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services jas praised the way firefighters in Norfolk have responded to the pandemic.