Coronavirus: England netballer Layla Guscoth says it was her duty to help NHS

Layla Guscoth
Layla Guscoth played for England during the 2019 Netball World Cup

England netballer and trained doctor Layla Guscoth says she felt it was “her duty” to volunteer for hospital shifts during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Adelaide Thunderbirds defender, 28, returned to the UK after Australia's Super Netball season was suspended.

She is treating Covid-19 patients at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“It’s hard to think about netball and right now my focus is doing what I can do to help in hospital,“ Guscoth told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Eleanor Oldroyd.

“While in Australia, I really felt like I should be doing something.

“So as soon as I got word that the league would not be starting as planned in May, I was on a flight home within 48 hours.

“I heard that hospitals were calling for retired doctors and nurses so I felt like it was my duty and I just wanted to be at home working.”

Guscoth is stationed on the medical wards at the hospital near to her home town, Birmingham, rotating between treating patients suffering from coronavirus symptoms and other non-related medical issues.

“We’re using words like ‘strange’ and 'surreal' quite a bit," said Guscoth, who has spent the last nine months recovering from an Achilles injury she sustained during the Netball World Cup in Liverpool last summer.

"There’s empty beds, which is something we don’t usually see, but we’re predicting that will change quite dramatically in the coming weeks.

“Covid-19 is largely the burden of patients we are seeing.

“It’s a new virus and not something we learned about in medical school, so it is a different way of working but we're following all the guidelines, morale is good and we’re up for the challenge and what’s to come.”

Guscoth, who joined the Thunderbirds from the UK Superleague’s Team Bath for the 2019 season, says she is “proud” to work for the National Health Service and herself joined in the ‘clap for the NHS’ initiative on Thursday at 20:00 BST.

“The support the NHS has been getting is amazing and does not go unnoticed,” the World Cup bronze medallist said.

"The NHS is getting the support it deserves and I hope all of this reignites the country in how important it is to have it.”

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