Bangor Royal Navy cadet Emily fights Covid at local hospital

Helping the folk of her native County Down deal with coronavirus is 19-year-old Royal Navy cadet Emily Fawthrop, who’s volunteering on the wards at The Ulster Hospital.

Emily, who serves with Northumbria University Royal Naval Unit in Gateshead while she trains to be a nurse on Tyneside, has worked side-by-side with full-time NHS staff throughout the lockdown.

Ordinarily at this time of year, the teenager should have been sailing around northern Europe with HMS Example, a small patrol boat which gives students at universities in the north-east of England a taste of life in the Royal Navy.

Instead, the pandemic put the officer cadet’s studies in Newcastle on hold and halted her clinical placement as a student nurse.

She returned home to Bangor and decided to use her experience and volunteer, since when she’s been on the wards at The Ulster Hospital in Dundonald on the eastern outskirts of Belfast, working as a senior nursing assistant.

“My role is vital in ensuing patients receive high quality personal care whilst in hospital. I work on various wards to help the nurses care for ill patients,” she said.

Working in the hospital at this time makes me feel very appreciated as a student nurse. It is undoubtedly risky working in the hospital during this global pandemic, but I believe my role is very important.

While she’s been busy throughout the lockdown, Emily has not been quite as busy as she anticipated.

“It’s surprising to see how the public have developed a fear of attending hospital for routine check-ups – I’ve been struck by the reduction in Accident and Emergency admissions,” she added.

Although lockdown is beginning to ease, the teenager – and her hospital colleagues – remains cautious.

“The virus is still around and until a vaccine is available we must adhere to all Covid-19 health advice,” she added.

“The public should protect the NHS as best they can be following government guidelines to keep others well – especially the vulnerable.”