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Kent hospitals increase staff amid pandemic

East Kent Hospitals have added more than 300 staff members to their ranks to help during the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced on Friday.

More than 100 temporary doctors, nurses, midwifes, pathologists, pharmacists and therapists will be on hand to help various teams across the county, including at the William Harvey in Ashford.

Senior resourcing nurse Peter Orsman says the team’s new additions will be involved across various departments during the course of the outbreak.

He has already praised existing staff for helping new members to adapt so quickly throughout the crisis.

“They really will help make the lives of both patients and staff that little bit easier,” he explained.

It has been a mammoth task, but the teams have adapted very quickly to carry out the necessary assessments”

“Our staff continue to show the same dedication and care for our patients, and these new team members will give them a much-needed boost as they continue their work across the wards and departments of the Trust.

Nurses are working to help coronavirus patients. Picture: T. Grace Emori

“It has been a mammoth task, but the teams have adapted very quickly to carry out the necessary assessments to make sure everyone joining us is safe and prepared for the challenges ahead.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who has joined us – including the ever-increasing army of volunteers – for stepping up and helping us continue to deliver great care in difficult circumstances.”

More than 60 overseas nurses and over 60 former retirees have also joined the team after being allowed to join an emergency register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

This is in addition to more than 50 third-year student nurses also aiding those within the county.

These nurses will also be known as aspirant nurses under a new government scheme, and will be joined in June by second-year university students as clinical support workers.

East Kent Hospitals covers five locations across Kent, including Buckland Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Dover and Folkestone respectively.