Covid-19: NHS staff to be offered more support from military medics

20 February 2021, 10:27 | Updated: 20 February 2021, 10:29

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (left), during a visit on Friday to the Forth Valley Health Board's Vaccination Centre
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (left), during a visit on Friday to the Forth Valley Health Board's Vaccination Centre. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

NHS staff are going to be offered more support from military medics, the Defence Secretary has said, with many front line workers suffering burnout due to the pandemic.

A growing list of people are waiting for routine treatment as a result of the NHS being overloaded due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the military will be stepping up where they can. He said: "We'll be looking in Defence about how we can help the NHS, how Defence can find the right people to relieve some people, to give them that break."

Mr Wallace was speaking during a visit to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Last month it emerged more than 600 military medics had been deployed to NHS hospitals across England and Northern Ireland to help the frontline fight against Covid-19.

Mr Wallace continued: "The key thing to remember is it is about making sure the flow into hospitals are managed, because if that falls over, that's when we get into real problems."

Sue Page, the hospital's chief executive, told Sky that planning and crisis experience military staff have helped NHS deal with the early onset of the virus, adding that “we couldn’t have done it without them”.

The Prime Minister will announce the route out of lockdown for England on Monday afternoon.

It emerged today that care home visits will be allowed with hand-holding permitted from March 8.

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