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R2P feature on front page of The Sunday Times

By Harry Black,

Return2Play feature on the front page of The Sunday Times  in an article about concussion in school rugby.

Dr Sam Barke, Head of Sports Medicine, said in response to the article:
“Stand-alone statistics can look worrying, but sometimes they can actually reveal positives. These are injuries that have been identified, had their recovery closely managed and only returned to sport after an appropriate stand-down and gradual return to sport process. This is by far the most important intervention to reduce short and long term risk.

Our biggest concern should be the large number of injuries that go unrecognised – not through lack of want, but through lack of knowledge. Recognition is the most important step in good management. This injury has always existed and the steps being taken by an ever increasing number of schools to reduce risk and improve care of their pupils should be applauded.”


Read the full article here

Harrow School pioneer use of Head Impact Monitoring Mouthguards

By Harry Black,

Return2Play is supporting the deployment of the technology which is helping Harrow School add further welfare initiatives to its continuous commitment to player health and student experiences.

Prevent Biometrics and OPRO, providers of the world’s most rigorously validated Instrumented Mouthguard (“iMG”) technology, have equipped players from Harrow School, an institution with a rich rugby tradition, with the latest Prevent v2.0 iMGs. This research partnership was implemented in August 2023 and aims to learn lessons on how the technology will benefit the age-grade game in advance of wider deployment.  A group of 25 senior players have been equipped with a mouthguard capable of detecting head impacts, or Head Acceleration Events (HAEs), experienced during rugby training and games.


The technology is overseen by Harrow’s sports medicine team, led by Dr. Sam Barke, who also serves as the Head of Sports Medicine at Return2Play. The team can use the data from the iMGs to ensure that any player who has experienced a significant head impact receives the necessary assessment and care. Additionally, the monitoring of cumulative head impact exposure enables more precise management of contact training loads, thereby reducing the risk of injuries.


Alastair Land, Head Master, commented on the project saying; “At Harrow School, prioritising student welfare is central to both our educational mission and our approach to sports. We aim to empower our students to make a positive impact on the world through their experiences here, which is why being at the forefront of a project which aims to benefit the game as a whole and ultimately all schools is of utmost importance to us. Aligning ourselves with the same level of technology used by professional rugby players worldwide underscores our dedication to student well-being and the quality of the Harrow experience.”


Prevent Biometrics VP Rugby, Erik Lund, who is an ex-professional Rugby Union player commented; “Our technology is user-friendly, suitable for professional teams, community clubs, and schools. It’s as simple as charging the mouthguards, wearing them during training or matches, and relying on our app to alert you if any players experience significant head impacts. While we don’t diagnose concussions, our iMG excels at detecting and reporting head impacts, especially those that might go unnoticed during a game. In this way, the technology can serve as a valuable safety net for coaches and medical staff.”


Dr, Anthony Lovat, founder and Chairman of OPRO observed, “Harrow was the first OPRO school and has therefore always held a unique place in our history, so we are excited to be involved in this project. We pride ourselves at being pioneering leaders in the field of mouthguard technology and consequently are delighted to team up with Prevent who are at the forefront of iMG technology. Together we can make a positive difference to player safety and welfare.”


Making iMG technology accessible to coaches and medical staff at all levels of the sport is the logical progression for Prevent, supported by OPRO. Harrow School, known globally for its leadership in education is pioneering the use of Prevent’s technology at the school-age level, showcasing its commitment to adopting cutting-edge technology for the benefit of its student athletes.


MDr Sam Barke, Harrow’s sports doctor and Head of Sports Medicine at Return2Play said “The iMGs have already proven to be a valuable additional tool in our armoury to safely manage head injuries. At Harrow we follow a ‘performance through welfare’ philosophy and while identifying HAEs has been our main aim, the data has also proven to be valuable in monitoring the cumulative HAEs that players experience during training and matches. This allows us to consider adapting individual players’ training loads and game time to protect them from injury and maximise match performance.”


About Harrow:

Harrow School was founded in 1572 under a Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I. It is located in a leafy 300-acre estate, encompassing much of Harrow on the Hill in north-west London. As stewards of many cherished traditions, today’s Harrovians follow in the footsteps of The Giants of Old, united by strength of character, lasting friendships and the desire to be of good influence.


For additional information visit


About Prevent & OPRO:

Prevent Biometrics®, a Cleveland Clinic spin-off, was established in 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Prevent has been working with World Rugby, the leader in advancing the understanding of head impacts across the sport and is committed to reducing the head forces experienced by players at all levels of the game. Prevent’s data is being used by rugby stakeholders in making recommendations to further inform rugby’s injury-prevention strategies as the sport continues its research-led drive to protect players at all levels of the game.


OPRO was founded more than 25 years ago in 1997 by Dr. Anthony Lovat BDS., OPRO is the world’s most technically advanced mouthguard company and a leading pioneer in oral protection. From its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Hertfordshire (UK), OPRO is dedicated to creating the ultimate in dental protection by using innovation and technology for the good of athletes at all levels of sport. Over the years, OPRO has been privileged to supply gum shields to some of the world’s leading athletes and are proud to be the official sports mouthguard supplier to many international teams and associations. To name just a handful, OPRO are proud to supply England Rugby, Wales Rugby, New Zealand Rugby, GB Taekwondo, the UFC, USA Wrestling, the GAA and England Hockey with premium-level mouth protection.


For additional information visit and


About Return2Play:

Return2Play, part of Meliora Medical Group, is the leading provider of sports medicine services to UK schools. . Their specialist Head Injury & Concussion Care Service provides 7-day-a-week, unlimited access to our team of highly experienced clinicians who are experts in their field. Their doctor-led medical team comprises over 60 professionals who are on hand to ensure that every individual receives prompt attention and guidance throughout their recovery journey. They follow the most current protocols and best practices to promote a safe return to sport. In the 2022-23 school year, they undertook over 10,000 appointments. Their innovative online injury management system allows schools & clubs to document injuries, automatically communicate to parents and coaches, and track a player’s recovery.

For additional information visit

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First UK Government concussion guidance released

By Harry Black,

Return2Play welcomes the release of the Government’s “UK Concussion Guidelines for Non-Elite (Grassroots) Sport”  published today. The guidance recognises the need for greater awareness about the risk of head injury and a need for improved management. These include the need for medical review followed by a gradual, personalised return to normal life and sport with minimum “stand-down periods”.  These are things we have championed since the launch of our Head Injury & Concussion Care service in 2016. We are proud to have been at the forefront of delivering expert care and to have helped our partner schools & clubs achieve what is now being recommended long before this announcement.

Following the new Government guidance, it is likely that we will see a change in sporting Governing Body return to sport protocols following a concussion or suspected concussion. These new protocols may be in place for September 2023.

While the timeframe to return to unrestricted sporting activity (eg matches) is unlikely to change, it is possible that we will now be looking to introduce low-risk light physical activity much earlier in the symptom free person. Latest research has showed this is likely to aid recovery and, of course, has benefits to wider physical and mental wellbeing.

It is important to note that the changes outlined in this announcement will still need to be adopted by governing bodies. We will be keeping a close eye on emerging guidance from government and sporting governing bodies. If current guidance does change as expected, we will update our partner schools and clubs and will have resources available to explain the changes and how medical assessments will fit into the new timeframes.

You can read the full report here

Return2Play launch partnership with National League Rugby

By Harry Black,

National League Rugby and Return2Play (part of Meliora Medical Group) are delighted to announce a partnership that will see all of National League Rugby clubs offered discounted access to Return2Play’s medical services.

Return2Play are the UK’s leading sports medicine provider for youth and grassroots sport. They work to create a safer environment for rugby clubs to operate in by ensuring players with head injuries and concussions receive gold-standard medical care from some of the UK’s leading sports medicine doctors.

Whilst their main focus is around their ‘Head Injury & Concussion Care’ and ‘Match-Day & Tournament Doctor’ services, they also provide Sports Doctor and Physiotherapy services. Their team of over 40 doctors, many of whom also work in elite sport, have unrivalled experience in the management of head injuries and concussion and are seen as the UK’s leading experts in the area, undertaking over 4000 appointments in the 2021/22 season alone.

Return2Play operate across the whole of the UK with clients including rugby academies, some of the UK’s leading schools and rugby clubs including National League Rugby members Barnes RFC, Esher RFC and Rosslyn Park FC. Their services can help every player at a club, from 1XV through to minis.

Dr Sam Barke, Head of Sports Medicine, at Return2Play said: “The health impact of head injuries is of ever-increasing concern across all sports, but particularly rugby. It is crucially important that all players get the absolute best medical care and advice in the event of a head injury, and that’s what we provide at Return2Play. By doing so, we protect not only the player but also our sport. We’re delighted to be partnering with National League Rugby to offer their clubs access to our Head Injury & Concussion Care service along with the rest of our range of medical services.”

Mike Brennand, National League Rugby’s commercial officer, said: “National League Rugby are pleased to be working with Return2Play and we believe this proactive approach to injury management will be very useful to all our clubs.”

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Sunday Times Interview with Dr Sam Barke

By Harry Black,

“My biggest fear is that there are still schools and clubs where cases are being underreported and not managed safely.”

Following a series of high profile examples of concussion being wrongly managed in professional rugby, The Sunday Times’ David Walsh talks to Return2Play’s Head of Sports Medicine, Dr Sam Barke, about the example set by the elite game and how this affects the management of concussions at the grassroots level.


Read the full article here.

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NextGenXV & Return2Play Interview

By Harry Black,

Watch former England Rugby International and current Return2Play team member Peter Richards, alongside Head of Business Development Andrew Marshall, talk to NextGenXV about some of the benefits of Return2Play’s Head Injury & Concussion Care service.


The full clip (15 mins) can be found on our Youtube Channel.

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Dr Sam Barke on BBC Newsround

By Harry Black,

Concussion – is rugby safe for kids?  BBC Newsround Special

Thousands of kids across the UK have returned to the pitch for the new grassroots rugby union season.

But, with concerns about the dangers of repeated head injuries looming large at the elite level, questions are being asked about safety in the community game.

Concussion is one of the most frequently suffered injuries at all levels of the sport.

In the show Dr Sam Barke, Head of Sports Medicine at Return2Play & Meliora Medical Group, explains concussion and why it is so important that we manage it well.


Watch the show by clicking here

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Return2Play’s Dr Sam Barke features in The Times

By Harry Black,

In the latest in The Times series on rugby’s ‘brain injury crisis’, rugby correspondent Owen Slot takes a “careful, considered and balanced look at the latest concussion research”, including that of Meliora Medical Group’s Head of Sports Medicine, Dr Sam Barke.

Dr Barke’s research looks at whether the risks that are evident in professional level rugby are applicable to the school game. Building on data collected by Return2Play’s Injury Management System and experience working with over 50 of the UK’s leading schools, Dr Barke explains why the concerns from the elite level shouldn’t be shared by those putting on their school kit.

Read Dr Barke’s full article by clicking here and Owen Slot’s article in The Times by clicking here.

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The dangers of rugby – how applicable are they to the school game?

By Harry Black,


Dr Sam Barke

Head of Sports Medicine

Meliora Medical Group, Return2Play


It’s taken me a little while to put pen to paper with my thoughts on the recent headlines regarding long term health risks from playing rugby. I feel there is merit in letting the dust settle a little so as to avoid knee-jerk comment that fails to show a balanced view.

Firstly, I should make it extremely clear that I have nothing but sympathy for Steve Thompson & Co. I fully support their hope that by taking the action they are, further focus will be placed on player welfare.

It is always important when making comment on such sensitive issues to acknowledge conflicts of interest. Professionally, a significant amount of my time is spent managing head injuries in adolescent athletes and working with schools to reduce injuries and ensure that when they do occur, they are managed properly (see bio). But I make no denial of the fact that I am a rugby lover. There are those that will argue that this means I can’t have a balanced view on the topic – that I’ll look at the issues through rose tinted glasses – but I believe that it is my love of the sport alongside my professional interests which is precisely what qualifies me to give a balanced view. How can someone who doesn’t appreciate the joy rugby brings understand why people would want the game to continue to be played? Of course someone who hasn’t seen and felt the benefits would immediately make the call to “ban it” in the face of concerns around safety.


So, what do I see as the key questions around to the wider issue of head injuries in rugby?

Q: Are head injuries bad for you?
A: Yes.
I believe this is indisputable. We can go back and forth over whether scientific studies have firmly proven the link between head injuries and poor long term brain health, but the growing weight of evidence points us towards the fact that it simply isn’t a good idea to hit your head a lot. And keeping things simple I’d suggest that this is obvious – the human instinct of self preservation tells us that it’s a good idea to protect our heads.


Q: Does the way the modern elite-level game is played contribute to risk?
A: Yes.
The average number of tackles – where head injuries are most likely to occur – made per team has increased from 52 in 1991 to 128 in 2019. Add to this that tackles tend to now be more upright and that players are bigger and potential for harm increases further. Reduce those collision incidents and clearly you will reduce risk. (Those who use the argument “we don’t want to change the game” to prevent interventions that improve welfare, presumably hadn’t noticed this steady change over the last 30 years).


Q: Have efforts already been taken to mitigate risk?
A: Yes.
There is absolutely no doubt that rugby has been at the forefront of making efforts to reduce risk.  Head injury awareness campaigns, law changes to reduce risk and increased sanctions to encourage safer play. Then there are the clear protocols to manage head injuries – the Head Injury Assessment process used in elite rugby has been shown to reduce the number of missed concussions from around 50% to less than 10%.


Q: Can more be done?
A: Yes.
We have started from a relatively poor knowledge base but expertise and understanding is constantly evolving.  The challenge for the game’s authorities is to ensure they keep up with the latest evidence.  The problem is that hasty reactions are not necessarily useful.  A good example was a trial of a law change that enforced lower tackle heights in the 2018/19 Championship season.  It made perfect sense – keep tacklers away from the tackled players head/neck and you would reduce the risk of head injury.  But there was an unexpected rise in the number of concussions sustained by the tackling players and the trial was abandoned.


But is any of this relevant to the school game?

Reducing incidence of head injury is beneficial at all levels of the game. This is obvious. But it would be over simplistic to say that the risks in the adult elite game can be applied to those in school-age rugby.

Again, I think there are some key questions:


Q: Are the number of collision incidents comparable?
A: No.
Anecdotally school coaches will tell you that the game is far more “open” with less contact. Youth players are still taught to “find space” and avoid contact. Data is scant but two leading rugby playing schools I work with were able to provide data on tackles for their U18 sides. This showed an average of less than 80 tackles made per game per team – almost 40% less than the elite game.  It would be a fair assumption, although it clearly needs validating, that if you go down the ages those numbers would decrease further.


Q: Are the number of injuries comparable?
A: No.
Studies have consistently shown significantly lower injury rates in youth players compared to elite adult.  A systemic review in 2015 showed a 67% lower incidence (injuries per 1000 playing hours) in those aged 6 to 21.  This was for pooled data on that whole age range.  Much like with number of collision incidents we would expect the rates to lower in younger ages and this has been confirmed by various other studies.
Combine lower rates of injury with shorter games, far fewer matches in a season and reduced training sessions and an individuals risk of injury at school-age becomes incomparable compared to the elite player.


Q: Is the management of head injuries comparable?
A: No.
School-age rugby follows the rule “Recognise and Remove” when it comes to head injuries.  If an injury is suspected the player is removed and not allowed to return.  There is no place for a Head Injury Assessment.
A school-age player with suspected concussion must have 2 weeks complete rest from sport and then follow a graduated return to play pathway.  They should not return until cleared to play by a doctor.  The minimum time away from matches is 23 days.
What about an elite player? Just 6 days. Incomparable.

So, I think it is reasonably clear that the risks in school-age rugby are significantly lower than those in the elite adult game.


But is that level of risk acceptable?

This is where it becomes far more difficult and we move away from science and data. Acceptance of risk is different for everyone so it is impossible for anyone to answer this question with anything other than a personal view.

However, it would be impossible to make a valid judgement without mentioning the benefits of rugby – something that rarely seems to put forward as part of the argument. We know that rugby has physical and mental health benefits which are quantifiable. But there are also the countless unquantifiable benefits – skills in teamwork, leadership, communication, respect and sportsmanship that those who are involved in rugby know all too well about.


Should we just play other sports?

Some would argue that all these benefits can be gained from other, safer sports. But are the risks in those sports acceptable? There are complexities in comparing sports but studies have shown that up to the age of 15 the injury rates between sports don’t vary hugely.

What if I told you that at one of the schools I work with cross-country had the highest number of concussion this term per participation hours?

I am not using this to dismiss the concerns around rugby, nor does it reduce my desire to continue to improve safety in the sport, but it is important to keep things in perspective.


What should schools be doing to protect their players and safeguard the sport?

While I’ve discussed the incomparable head injury protocols between school-age players and elite adults, I don’t believe these rules are adhered to nearly as well as they should be by the majority of schools.  Some of this comes down to continued misunderstanding of the injury, its diagnosis, and the management pathway. There really should be no-excuse for this.  The right information is easily available and those involved in the game have a responsibility to know it.  Schools should ensure their pupils and parents are educated on the subject too.

And then sometimes lack of adherence is simply down to logistical issues, high administrative burden and lack of access to medical care.

But I’m afraid all too often old school attitudes and a fear of “opening a can of worms” play a part. I still regularly speak to schools that say “we don’t get many concussions” – impossible.  The rates across the 50 schools we work with are pretty consistent, why would you be any different?


The future.

While I have shown that risks are significantly lower in school rugby the bigger threat to the game is reputational.  I truly believe that openly acknowledging concerns and engaging in methods to improve the safety of the game is the only sensible way forward. Not doing so is a far greater threat to the game then the injuries themselves.  Managing head injuries well is a significant task that needs to be fully committed to by schools. But it is achievable and if we want the game to survive we simply don’t have a choice but to do it properly.



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Meet Return2Play’s #NHSHeroes

By Harry Black,

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 Sam Barke
Return2Play Role: Medical Director
COVID-19 Role: Intensive Care Doctor, South London


Away from Return2Play I work in elective orthopaedic surgery in London. Elective operating was stopped early on in the crisis and I was asked to go to NHS Nightingale North-West in Manchester for the first weeks of its existence. Like most Nightingale hospitals we ended up receiving far fewer patients than we’d prepared for. This is obviously a positive thing as it means the NHS has been able to manage cases within its existing resource.  I have now moved back to London and am working in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

My biggest take-away when this is all over will be what can be achieved when “needs must”.  People will have seen much in the news about how quickly the Nightingale hospitals have been built but, for me, what has been far more impressive is how quickly working practices have been conceived and implemented across all NHS hospitals in a situation that we had no blueprint for. Healthcare workers have had to adapt quickly and have been required by necessity to work out of their comfort zone and deal with situations that many have not felt prepared for.  I have felt great pride in seeing my junior colleagues – many who are only a year or two out of medical school – take on responsibility that is usually reserved for far more experienced doctors and doing so with great professionalism.  This is a credit to them but has only been possible because of a flattening of hierarchy and the return of feeling truly part of a team and being supported, something that I hope will remain when this is over.

While much of our work has been upsetting – the mortality rates in intensive care units is well documented – it has also been rewarding. I feel hugely privileged to have watched patients talk to their families (via FaceTime, of course) after weeks on a ventilator, see them take joy in eating for the first time in over a month, and clap them as they are discharged from the intensive care unit.  But, as hard as it has been, I also feel privileged to have been able to care for the dying.  To pass on messages of love from their loved ones who can’t be by their side, to hold their hand in their last moments, to be there to say goodbye.

It looks like we will shortly be starting to reopen non-emergency health services and I will await the call as to when I can return to orthopaedics. It is becoming increasingly clear that there are indirect health issues that have been created from delays in access to treatment during the crisis and will take significant resource to try and clear that back log and minimise the long-term impact.   We’ve learnt a lot from this crisis and I hope some of the positives will force change that is long overdue.


Name: Dr Alex Maxwell
Return2Play Role: Concussion Service & Match-Day Doctor
COVID-19 Role: GP, South London


As a GP my working day has changed tremendously with the arrival of COVID-19. I am now telephoning almost all my patients, only bringing them in when absolutely necessary. This has highlighted how much can actually be done over the phone or via a video call and I believe will change how General Practice works forever. We have been able to manage with our PPE and various local schools and groups have been generous with their time to help create more for us which is incredibly kind and much appreciated!

As the lead within my practice tasked with looking after the vulnerable people in our community, it has been very satisfying working with a motivated group to work out who best to contact and how best we can support them with their medical, social, mental and physical health needs. Outside of my GP role, being Clinical Director for Croydon’s social Prescribing service (“Croydon SocialP”) has provided an opportunity to support our community from a more holistic viewpoint which I am grateful to be able to contribute to. We have made an incredible 80+ page resource and disseminated it to anyone requiring it to help support people with anything they might require during this unique time. We have also provided appointments to talk to someone who can guide them to appropriate resources which has made real changes to their quality of life.

I think that COVID-19 has highlighted just what can be done if necessary and if the “red tape” we have become so accustomed to within the NHS is circumvented, just how effectively change can be implemented. Something to consider for the future.

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.

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.

Name: Dr Juan Rosales
Return2Play Role: Match-Day Doctor
COVID-19 Role: A&E Senior Registrar, London


My regular job is in A&E as a senior registrar and I continue to work in the same role during the COVID-19 crisis. Over the past weeks I have welcomed multiple redeployed colleagues from different specialties who have enriched and reinforced our emergency team. It’s been a unique opportunity to exchange skills and perspectives.

It has been impressive to see how the Health Service can adapt to changes quickly. We had prepared ourselves to cope with a high number of patients but fortunately we have seen fewer cases than expected, both COVID and non-COVID related.

I’m proud of my team because the care of patients has always been at the top of our priorities throughout this pandemic time. Being there in an emergency is what we do best and we will continue to do it in every setting. We thank everyone for their support given to us as healthcare practitioners and for keeping themselves safe and at home.

Name: Dr Tom Axon
Return2Play Role: Match-Day Doctor
COVID-19 Role: Acute Medicine SHO, North Middlesex Hospital


In the Pre-COVID world I was a GP trainee undertaking a placement in Paediatrics. Since the outbreak I have been working on an emergency COVID rota at my local hospital. Even though this period has been emotionally challenging and there have been many difficulties, the collective team spirit within the NHS has been incredible. From unbelievably supportive senior staff, to mentoring newly graduated doctors fast-tracked from medical school, to bonding with new colleagues over donated food in the mess – the positivity shown in these scary unprecedented times has been staggering.


From everyone at Return2Play, a huge thank you to all of our doctors who are currently working on the frontline! 🙌


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