Doctor describes 'boost' as nation applauds NHS staff on coronavirus frontline

27 March 2020, 08:23

People showed their appreciation for the NHS on Thursday evening
People showed their appreciation for the NHS on Thursday evening. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

A doctor in London has described the "really touching" moment he heard the nation applauding healthcare workers for their continued fight against coronavirus.

Tom, 42, a consultant anaesthetist, said the applause on Thursday night had given him "a boost" as he and his colleagues "head into the storm".

"It was really touching to hear the applause," he said, adding: "We're all so worried about whether we're going to be able to be there for all the patients who are going to need us over the coming weeks and months, and knowing that the public have got our backs was much needed.

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Members of the public all over the country joined the applause
Members of the public all over the country joined the applause. Picture: PA

"Hearing the clapping told us that people out there know how hard everyone has been working to get ahead of the coming surge as much as we can, and that has given us a boost."

He said it had also served as a reminder of the world outside of the "frantic bubble of Covid-related work" he had been living in for weeks.

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The #ClapForOurCarers initiative saw members of the public all over the country break into applause at 8pm on Thursday to show appreciation to healthcare staff.

A number of high-profile figures, including Boris Johnson and members of the royal family took part.

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It comes as the UK continues to approach the peak of the virus, leaving many worried the NHS will become overwhelmed in a similar case to what has happened in Italy and Spain.

But Tom said the effort made to prepare the NHS for the surge "heading this way" had been "heartening to see".

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He said: "We've all been daunted by what we've seen happening in Italy, and in China before that, and knowing that it is heading this way.

"In a few weeks, we've completely changed some things in the NHS which previously would have taken months or years to get sorted out, and the sense of can-do and expediency from all the staff has been heartening to see.

"Its really felt like a huge collective endeavour - all hands on deck as we head into the storm."