A heartwarming image has captured the moment NHS staff at a London hospital battling coronavirus were treated to a surprise breakfast by airline staff.
After a “horrific night shift”, workers at north London’s Whittington Hospital were greeted by staff from British Airways, EasyJet and Norwegian after working overnight on the frontline against COVID-19.
On Wednesday, 20 patients died at the hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, according to the Islington Gazette.
But as they finished their shift on Thursday morning, the NHS workers were treated to Project Wingman, a “first class lounge” created by airline crews that featured coffee and pastries for the hero healthcare workers.
The project offers staff a support network before, during and after shifts, and a chance to unwind, decompress and unload their problems.
The heartwarming image, posted to Twitter, comes after it was revealed that only 2,000 of the UK”s 500,000 NHS workers have been tested for the virus.
Paediatric registrar Priyen Shah, who posted the image to social media, said: “Completely blown away by the generosity of staff from @British_Airways @easyJet @Fly_Norwegian for welcoming us at the end of a truly horrific night shift with coffee and pastries and, most importantly friendly (socially distant) faces.”
Siobhan Harrington, CEO of the Whittington Health NHS Trust, thanked the industry for its support.
“The impact of having uniformed fellow professionals actively support our front line staff will be enormous. We cannot thank the pilots and cabin crew enough,” she said.
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“Professionals coming together to support our staff will help more than you can imagine. This will be a massive boost to our resources, capability and morale. We are deeply grateful.”
It follows news that campaign group Meals for the NHS had raised £250,000 in seven days for staff at various London hospitals.
Images showed NHS workers enjoying meals provided by the campaign, which started as an idea between a group of friends based in the London.
The campaign provided meals for staff working at University College Hospital, The Whittington Hospital, The Royal London Hospital and Barnet Hospital.
Co-founder Andrew Muir Wood said: “We were talking about how a group of friends who are NHS workers are just not eating properly.”
The group initially invested their own money to provide the meals – contributing around £2,000 between five people.
“It was a bit of a gamble at the start of the week but by Wednesday we had enough public support to cover the cost, then it spiralled from there – it’s been crazy,” he continued.
“For them (health workers) to know there will be a hot meal waiting for them at a specific time, and to know that meal has been provided by the public, is a huge morale boost and lets them see a ray of light at a dark time for them.”
On Thursday, the number of UK patients who died after testing positive for COVID-19 rose by 569 to 2,921, from Wednesday’s tally of 2,352.
There are now 33,718 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, it has been confirmed, which represents a rise of 4,244 from the 29,474 reported on Wednesday.