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
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
'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.
Me and my cousin are both nurses and she lives with her elderly grandfather but is moving out and in with me to avoid putting him at further risk.— susan speirs (@susan_speirs) March 24, 2020
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.'
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. If I can do this. YOU CAN STAY HOME🏡 @JoPrytherch @WestHertsNHS @CarterTreacle— Emily WHHT Preceptorship & HEE RePAIR Fellow (@EmilyPurvis5) March 24, 2020
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.
Yes sure what’s the email Paula - I’ve just had one nurse on respiratory ward contact me - it’s horrendous what these staff are facing. All the apartments have full kitchens washing machines WiFi’s tv towels aready to go on 3 sites in city centre website https://t.co/69BlzAyKd0— me (@anniecxxx) March 24, 2020
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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