Coronavirus: Nurse swaps Williams F1 team for NHS wards

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image captionSue Chantry is working on wards with Covid-19 patients

A former nurse has swapped a life in the fast lane of a Formula One team for the high-speed environment of a hospital ward battling coronavirus.

Sue Chantry said she returned to work on the front line in Oxford "without hesitation" following 15 years away.

The former neonatal critical care nurse is working on wards with Covid-19 patients after being fast-tracked by the NHS rapid response service.

She had been working for the Williams F1 team in Grove prior to the pandemic.

Ms Chantry, who was employed as an occupational health manager at Oxfordshire-based Williams, said she signed up to the rapid response programme "as I had to do something to help in the crisis".

"As an active registrant, I felt I had to assist my NHS colleagues, I think many of us in the private sector felt the same," she said.

image copyrightOUH
image captionThe former neonatal critical care nurse worked for Williams before the pandemic outbreak

A total of 339 staff members have been recruited to the hospital through the NHS Professionals' Rapid Response scheme. This includes nurses, doctors, midwives, and other support staff.

About 20,000 former NHS staff returned to work to help the fight against coronavirus after letters were sent to more than 65,000 retired doctors and nurses in England and Wales to boost front-line services.

Ms Chantry returned to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in March and has been working on the general medicine, orthopaedics and acute respiratory wards.

She said the return had been a "baptism of fire" but said it was "enlightening to return to the wards" and she "really enjoyed going back to my roots".

"The technology has moved on so far from my traditional days of ward work in the 1990s. That's been a challenge, but the nursing process has not changed," she said.

"I may not be part of the permanent team, but I have shared the highs and lows with the amazing staff."

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