A HIDDEN ‘army’ in the fight against coronavirus are the hundreds of staff who have been redeployed from their usual duties to perform vital tasks to keep patients safe.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has redeployed a number of staff including more than 50 nurses and dozens of health care assistants and allied health care professionals such as physiotherapists to work in different services, many of whom have had to quickly learn and master new skills.

From Endoscopy and Day care surgery to accident and emergency, from surgery to Intensive Care and elderly care and gastroenterology to respiratory care, staff have been redeployed from services where all but emergency provision has been temporarily postponed due to the pandemic.

One such redeployed member of staff is Lynsey Hetherington who is the Trust’s Musculoskeletal Service Lead.

Usually working with patients with complex lower limb, ankle or foot problems, Lynsey is now managing the team of Oxygen Runners at University Hospital of North Tees.

Lynsey and her new team, made up of staff around the Trust including podiatrists, podiatric surgeons, audiologists, health care assistants, radiographers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapist, nurses and physiotherapists, monitor the flow and usage of medical oxygen throughout the hospital.

Staff redeployment will continue throughout North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.