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.
Name: Dr Tim McEwen
R2P Role: Concussion Service
COVID-19 Role: GP, Surrey
Alongside my work with Return2Play I also work within rugby with Saracens as their match day Doctor and with the RFU as team Doctor with the England U18 and England U20s sides. The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly halted the season and whilst we wait to see what will happen with the rest of the Premiership and European rugby season, the June U20s Junior Rugby World Cup in Italy, the U18s stand-alone fixtures and Six Nations Championship 2020 have now all been cancelled for the season.
As a result of these postponements/ cancellations at the beginning of March, I returned to work in General Practice full time during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It has been fascinating and rewarding to see how much we have changed in the space of a few weeks. Changes that may have previously taken years have been brought about in a short space of time and many things will be here to stay. For example, all patients are now triaged by a Doctor on the day and if possible their problems or issues are often dealt with via telephone or video consultation, something that patients find convenient and we find efficient!
Name: Dr Miles Bogle
Return2Play Role: Match-Day Doctor
COVID-19 Role: GP, North London
As a GP we have seen a complete change to our way of working. New technology made available to us since the crisis begun has allowed us to conduct video consultations which has helped us reduce our face to face contacts from over 75% of consultations prior to COVID-19 to less than 5% now. This has reduced risk to both staff and patients, has largely been well received by patients who prefer video to attending the surgery and is likely to change how we work going forward after the pandemic is over.
In one of my other roles working in the Urgent Care Centre at North Middlesex Hospital all the GPs have been redeployed to the A&E where we screen all patients arriving for COVID. Those with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get assessed at the front door, and if they are well enough to not require admission, we discharge them quickly from there – preventing those who are potentially infectious having to wait in the department exposing other patients and staff to the virus.