EasyJet & Virgin Atlantic to work at NHS Nightingale hospitals

NHS clinicians will work alongside airline staff at NHS Nightingale hospitals in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Airline staff from Easy Jet and Virgin Atlantic will work alongside NHS clinicians at the new hospitals.

EasyJet has written to 9,000 of its staff; 4,000 of which are cabin crew trained in CPR.

Virgin Atlantic will write to its 4,000 staff today prioritising those which have the necessary skills and training.

Airline staff who volunteer will provide support roles under supervision from NHS nurses and senior clinicians.

This includes changing beds, and other non-clinical tasks.

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said: 

“Nurses, doctors and other vital health and social care staff are working day and night to provide the best possible care to patients as the NHS continues to fight this global health pandemic.”

“The NHS is mobilising like never before, but the scale of this challenge has not been seen in peacetime so we need all the support we can get.”

“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 health or social care services, working in the Nightingale Hospital, volunteering to help the NHS or following government advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Airline staff are mostly first aid trained as well as holding security clearance levels akin to working with the vulnerable.

Tina Milton, Director of Cabin Services for easyJet, said: 

“We have all needed the NHS at some point in our lives and so we are so proud that our crew can now help to support the NHS at this crucial time.”

“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.”

Free accommodation will be given to the volunteers as well as staff working at the new hospitals.

Those staying in hotels will be given breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on shift patterns worked.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said: 

“We are very grateful to the NHS for everything they are doing in extremely challenging circumstances and we’re committed to doing all we can to support the national effort against the rapid acceleration of Covid-19.”

“We are very proud of our highly skilled people at Virgin Atlantic and since the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was announced, we have been inundated with our employees looking to help other organisations at this time of crisis.”

“The NHS approached us with this unique opportunity as they recognise the value and experience our medically trained cabin crew and trainers will bring to the incredible Nightingale Hospital initiative.”

“In addition, our cargo business is very busy with extra flights, keeping global supply chains running and transporting essential medical supplies into the UK at this time.”