The UK’s NHS has enlisted staff from Virgin Atlantic and easyJet to work at new Nightingale hospitals as being built across the country.
easyJet has already written to all 9,000 of its UK based staff, which includes 4,000 cabin crew who are trained in CPR, while Virgin Atlantic will write to approximately 4,000 of their prioritising those with the required skills and training.
Those who sign up will perform clinical support roles, under the close instruction of nurses and senior clinicians on the wards at the NHS Nightingale Hospitals across the country.
The NHS has confirmed that they are being built in London, Birmingham and Manchester and other sites are being considered.
Support workers will change beds, tend to patients and assist doctors and nurses working on the wards.
Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England said: “Nurses, doctors and other vital health and social care staff are working day and night to provide the best possible care to patients as the NHS continues to fight this global health pandemic.
“The NHS is mobilising like never before, but the scale of this challenge has not been seen in peacetime so we need all the support we can get.
Many airline staff are first aid trained or hold other clinical qualifications as well as being security cleared, while NHS clinicians will oversee their work – with expert training provided to all new recruits when they sign-up.
Corneel Koster, Chief Customer Officer at Virgin Atlantic said: “We are very grateful to the NHS for everything they are doing in extremely challenging circumstances and we’re committed to doing all we can to support the national effort against the rapid acceleration of Covid-19.”
“We are very proud of our highly skilled people at Virgin Atlantic and since the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was announced, we have been inundated with our employees looking to help other organisations at this time of crisis. The NHS approached us with this unique opportunity as they recognise the value and experience our medically trained cabin crew and trainers will bring to the incredible Nightingale Hospital initiative.”
“In addition, our cargo business is very busy with extra flights, keeping global supply chains running and transporting essential medical supplies into the UK at this time.”
Tina Milton, Director of Cabin Services for easyJet, said: “We have all needed the NHS at some point in our lives and so we are so proud that our crew can now help to support the NHS at this crucial time.
“The NHS is at the forefront of dealing with this health emergency but the training and skills our cabin crew have, working closely with the medical professionals, could help make a real difference.”