Eden GP Ashley Liston has described the West Cumbrian hoteliers who have provided him with a room while he supports colleagues in Copeland respond to the Covid-19 pandemic as ‘hidden heroes’.
Dr Liston, from Appleby, recently put his retirement on hold in order to help colleagues by working in a Covid-19 assessment centre in Whitehaven.
He said: “I had been planning to retire at the end of March having worked as a GP for 34 years. With the onset of the Covid-19 crisis I decided to postpone my retirement and offered my services to GP teams in north Cumbria.
“Although I live near Appleby I found myself working in Whitehaven where they have been struggling to recruit GPs, working in the red hub – the Covid-19 assessment centre – three days each week. I had been expecting to stay overnight in my campervan but was amazed to discover that a local hotel had opened its doors to NHS staff working away from home.
“Andrew and Fiona have been incredibly hospitable, providing me with a room that is mine for as long as I need it. These people really are the hidden heroes of this current crisis and I cannot thank them enough for their kindness.
“Getting a good night’s sleep makes all the difference allowing me to wake up refreshed to do my bit for the NHS”
Andrew and Fiona Kendall own the Parkside Hotel in Cleator Moor, near Whitehaven, and said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to help in whatever way we can during the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re grateful for everything that staff from the NHS are doing and it’s been wonderful to support them at this incredibly challenging time.”
Dr Liston also joined a nurse staying at the hotel to give Andrew and Fiona their own #clapforcarers to say thank you and demonstrate the importance of the community at this challenging time.
North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust currently has 25 members of staff who have been placed in alternative accommodation, across various different sites.
During the ongoing situation the NHS in north Cumbria has been inundated with kind donations from local Cumbrian communities, for staff and patients.
The acts of kindness really do make a difference, and if any other organisations would like offer support please do so through the co-ordination hub which can be contacted via email: [email protected] or by calling 01228 814567.