Cabin crew to join fight against coronavirus at new Nightingale hospitals

The NHS has enlisted easyJet and Virgin Atlantic to help staff the new Nightingale hospitals being built to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

First-aid trained cabin crew of both airlines have been invited to volunteer at the new Nightingale Hospital, a 4,000-bed field hospital, being prepared at the ExCel centre in east London, and those planned in Birmingham and Manchester.

Those who join up will be given expert training and will then perform support roles such as changing beds under the guidance of trained nurses. Their salaries will continue to be paid by the airlines.

EasyJet has already written to its 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew trained in CPR to invite them to give their time to the NHS.

Image: NHS Nightingale in London is just days away from opening at the Excel centre

Virgin Atlantic will begin writing to 4,000 of its employees on Monday and will prioritise getting in touch with those who already have the required skills.


Ashley Jay is an easyJet crew member who has signed up to become an NHS volunteer.

He told Sky News: "I think it's really important that the whole country at the moment needs to pull together.

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"I think everybody, no matter what background you've got, can help and volunteer, and do something good for your community as well as the country in a time of need."

Many first-aid trained cabin crew across the world have been grounded as countries have closed borders and cancelled flights amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image: EasyJet says the training and skills of its staff 'could help make a real difference'

EasyJet has said it is "proud" its staff can support medics at this "crucial time".

Tina Milton, director of cabin services, added: "The NHS is at the forefront of dealing with this health emergency but the training and skills our cabin crew have, working closely with the medical professionals, could help make a real difference."

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St John's Ambulance have already said that hundreds of people will give their time at the Nightingale hospitals.

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said the NHS needs "all the support we can get".

She added: "Thousands of nurses, medics and other expert staff are returning to work alongside us, but we need everyone to do their bit – whether that is working in one of our current healthRead More – Source

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