Northumbria student Blaise helps Cheshire hospitals in pandemic

When medical studies were put on hold naval cadet Blaise Hickson volunteered to work in hospitals in his native Cheshire.

The 20-year-old from Middlewich is now working as a porter for Mid-Cheshire NHS Foundations Trust, offering to help the Health Service through the pandemic.

Blaise, who serves with Northumbria Royal Naval University Unit, should have been gearing up for a summer deployment around North-West Europe in patrol ship HMS Example at the end of the academic year.

It is a busy job with lots of walking and a lot of hours so you just turn up and do your shift to help out.

Naval Cadet Blaise Hickson

The small vessel, based on the Tyne in Gateshead at the Navy’s regional HQ, HMS Calliope, gives students from Northumbrian Universities a sample of life in the Royal Navy.

Instead, the under-graduate decided to sample life in the NHS until studies resume, working as a porter moving equipment, blood, and patients around the trust’s hospitals.

“It is a busy job with lots of walking and a lot of hours so you just turn up and do your shift to help out,” he said.

“It’s one of the many roles in the NHS that are there to keep the hospital running, enabling doctors and nurses to do their jobs.”

Blaise says the few weeks he’s spent on the wards and hospital have proved to be both rewarding and shown that a permanent career in medicine is the correct move.

“It can be worrying moving around Covid patients and going onto the confirmed wards but we always make sure we are wearing the appropriate PPE,” he added.

“It has made me realise medicine was the right choice for me – I just love talking to patients and spending time with them. It really makes you learn a lot hearing everyone’s different stories.”