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Offers flood in to support ‘phenomenal’ hospital staff

PUBLISHED: 13:37 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:44 24 March 2020

The public have rallied to support hospital staff during the coronavirus pandemic with offers including free parking, accommodation and childcare help.

With NHS staff on the frontline, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s chief executive has revealed the amazing range of help that has been offered.

The hospital has announced a number of measures including the introduction of treatment zones and restricted visiting to reduce the spread of the virus.

Sam Higginson, NNUH chief executive, said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received from the general public, local community and our partners as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Staff across the trust are doing phenomenal work and teams have moved quickly and at great effort to put in place the arrangements we need to respond to this emergency.

“We feel privileged to have received so much support, including offers of extra laboratory space on Norwich Research Park, childcare help for staff, and offers of accommodation.”

The hospital has also put in place its own wellbeing measures including a mobile farm shop twice a week to sell staff food boxes. Workers have also been offered free car parking and extra childcare and accommodation options.

Mr Higginson said further support had come from medical students and retired staff who had offered to work over the coming weeks and months.

The chief executive said the trust was treating “a number of people” who had tested possible for the virus.

Following the lockdown regulations from the Prime Minister on Monday evening, the chief executive urged people to follow government guidance.

Read more: ‘Nothing can prepare you’ – stories from our brave NHS coronavirus frontline staff

Mr Higginson said: “As the chief medical officer has said, as coronavirus expands, routine services will inevitably come under pressure just as they are across Europe, which is why the NHS will flex its response in line with well-established escalation protocols.

“We have been advised on what next steps we need to take to respond to any outbreak and we have plans in place.”

■ Tell us about your NHS heroes. We want to share the stories of the many that are working through this difficult time. If you know someone, please get in touch by emailing clarissa.place@archant.co.uk

■ Keep up to date with the latest on our Facebook group Norfolk Coronavirus Updates here

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