A LEADING community doctor has re-joined the frontline fight to back the NHS response to Covid-19.

Dr Neil O’Brien, a GP at Cestria Health Centre, Chester-le-Street, has been helping to support staff on ward one at Chester-le-Street Hospital.

Dr O’Brien said: “Although I spend a lot of my week in a managerial role and in general practice, hospitals urgently need doctors at this time to increase the number of patients we can look after so I thought I would offer my services.

“It does feel a bit strange, not having worked on a ward for over 20 years, however the hospital staff are incredible, the patients are lovely and looking after the elderly is what we do in general practice every day.”

Dr O’Brien, will continue to lead three Clinical Commissioning Groups while working three days a week on the hospital ward with his general practice work supported by the clinical staff at Cestria Health Centre.

He said: “The NHS is facing its largest challenge for a generation and I could see just how hard our hospital trust was working to ensure they could look after local people. I can do my small bit, but everybody needs to continue to work together by staying at home, protecting the NHS and helping to save lives and I know that the people of County Durham will do their bit.”