Return2Play Doctors on the COVID-19 Frontline
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the response of everyone involved in the NHS has been widely regarded as outstanding. 👏
Outpourings of public support for the NHS can be seen everywhere, from rainbows 🌈 and flags in house windows to the weekly #clapforourcarers ritual on Thursday evenings.
We spoke to a number of Return2Play’s doctors who are currently working on the frontline about their experience during COVID-19; what it’s like putting themselves at risk every day, how it has changed their working lives and how it may change the future of our National Health Service.
Today’s #NHSHero is…
Name: Dr Charles Tweed
Return2Play Role: Match-Day Doctor
COVID-19 Role: Mental Health Doctor
This is my second time responding to a large-scale public health crisis, having previously been deployed to Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. During testing times, I try to stick to a motto: “You cannot calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself, for the storm will pass.”
I caught COVID early on in the crisis from a patient on my ward. I think my previous experience with Ebola made me less worried; the chance of death from catching COVID is much smaller than if you catch Ebola and, luckily, I wasn’t badly ill.
Currently my response involves treating mental health patients in the South London trying to keep them out of hospital. This sometimes means we are managing deteriorating physical and mental health in far from optimum environments. During emergency shifts I also cover London’s psychiatric hospital inpatient wards often with unwell patients that have COVID. Aggression or other harmful behaviours as well as not understanding the need to self-isolate makes it a challenge. This is a unique experience.
I expect that the mental health impact this crisis has on both patients, staff and those in the wider community will remain far after the virus has passed.
Previous articles in the series: Dr Alex Maxwell