Covid-19: Wigan's NHS trust appeals for volunteers to support its fight against Coronavirus

Wigan’s hospital trust has issued a call to arms for any and all residents willing and able to help the NHS in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
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WWL Chief Executive Silas Nicholls says the hospital trust is actively seeking help from a wide variety of skill sets, including experience in catering, IT and manual labour.

And in a two-pronged fightback against the pandemic, a new initiative will be launched to train young healthcare students to support nurses in their care duties.

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Mr Nicholls told the Observer: “There are two important groups. Firstly, people who can help with our support services - those with catering experience, drivers, commercial cleaners, and any maintenance trades like plumbers and electricians. We also need people with experience of counselling and psychological support, and anybody with IT expertise who can help us build laptops and get our remote working set up.

WWL needs volunteers to help its battle against Covid-19WWL needs volunteers to help its battle against Covid-19
WWL needs volunteers to help its battle against Covid-19

“Where colleagues can work away from the hospital, we want to do that but we are hampered by needing this equipment set up quickly.”

He went on: “The other thing we are looking at is a new initiative called Care Makers. We are actively looking for young, fit people who are healthy and with no underlying conditions, who are either doing A-levels or an NVQ related to healthcare. We will give them training around basic care, we will pay them a wage and they will work under the direction of trained nurses to help us provide care on our wards.

“They won’t be asked to go into high risk areas like Covid-19 wards, for example, but there are low risk areas where their help would be invaluable.”

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Volunteers and potential employees in these areas must not be in one of the nationally identified high risk groups: pregnant, with certain underlying medical conditions or over the age of 70.

WWL chief executive Silas NichollsWWL chief executive Silas Nicholls
WWL chief executive Silas Nicholls

A very brief form will be available to complete on the WWL website for anyone who meets these criteria to volunteer or apply for fixed term paid employment.

Completed forms should be returned to [email protected]