COVID-19: nurses offered alternative housing to safeguard loved ones

Some front-line staff are making the difficult decision to move out of their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect family members, particularly those who are most vulnerable

Some nurses are making the difficult decision to live apart from their family during the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: iStock

NHS staff are being helped to find alternative accommodation to help safeguard vulnerable members of their households, as nurses express their fears about exposing their loved ones to the coronavirus.

Currently NHS staff who are living with people who need to self-isolate and would be affected by the 14-day household isolation policy have the option of staying in hotel accommodation while continuing to work.

Front-line workers fear spreading the coronavirus to vulnerable people

But nurses have also raised concerns about the extended risk of putting vulnerable people in their households at risk of contracting COVID-19 as they continue to work on the front line.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief nurse junior fellow and safe care sister Charlotte Jakab-Hall said she may need to move away from home to protect her family, but was worried about losing vital emotional support.

Nurses faced with dilemma of living away from their families

Charlotte Jakab-Hall: 'We need
support from our loved ones too'

'Morally, I am perplexed – I know for a fact that when I have face-to-face contact with patients, I am going to be exposed, so what do I do?’ she said.

'My husband and I live at home with my parents and brother who is at risk, do I move out and leave my husband for three months?’

'We need support from our loved ones too. It's hard enough saying I am going into work as a nurse, but hard to have the responsibility of giving COVID-19 to my own family at the same time.'

Others reiterated Ms Jakab-Hall's fears on social media.

One nurse wrote: 'I have made the heartbreaking decision to leave my children safe with their grandparents for the foreseeable. It’s so I can continue to educate our NHS heroes and join them on the units in the fight.'

Organisations have offered front-line NHS staff the option of accommodation 

Some business owners, universities and hospital trusts have offered free accommodation to front-line NHS worker during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One short-stay apartment owner in Liverpool has said that NHS staff can stay in her rooms free of charge.

The University of Gloucestershire is also providing accommodation for NHS staff who need it because they live far away, or if they live with vulnerable people.

Some employers are also taking action with Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust setting up a booking system for its clinical staff who cannot stay at home to request free accommodation near the hospital.

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