How lockdown hero nurse Andrew has helped keep NHS running in Doncaster through Covid crisis

Lockdown hero Andrew Russell was not going to let the snow stop vaccines in Doncaster

Monday, 15th March 2021, 12:01 pm

So Andrew, a nurse for 31 years, picked up a shovel and got work clearing the paths – just one of the many tasks he’s faced in the year since Covid arrived, earning praise from bosses at the Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

This week the Free Press is highlighting our lockdown heroes.

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Andrew Russell clearing snow at the Dearne Valley Leisure centre vaccination centre

Jackie Pederson, chief officer at the CCG, said: “Andrew has demonstrated huge commitment and resilience during Covid to ensure local services could adapt and continue to deliver in extremely difficult circumstances.

“He has been central to the success of many changes including the introduction of a community support service to care homes, leading and facilitating the introduction of a new hospital discharge model, working tirelessly to make the vaccine programme in Doncaster a success and adapting his team to support the Covid testing programme.

“He even managed to shovel snow at Dearne Valley Leisure Centre to make sure the vaccination programme could continue when the bad weather hit. The list could go on.

"Andrew is not the type of person to want any fuss but he has been truly amazing since the first day of the pandemic.”

“He certainly deserves to be recognised as a Doncaster Covid hero."

Andrew said his role changed immeasurably in the local response to the threat of Covid that became very real to the public.

He said his team adopted new ways of working and new areas of responsibility on what at times seemed like a daily basis, leaving him in awe at their skills, determination and dedication.

“I have been a Nurse for 31 years. I can honestly say that this last year has been one of the most difficult years of my working life but at the same time a year that has, time after time, reminded me about why I chose to work within the NHS.

“Every one of us will have their own personal story about the year that will have left an indelible mark upon us and those closest to us, be that family, friends, or colleagues. Through the last year I have witnessed teams across Doncaster working tirelessly and together to support all within Doncaster wherever and whenever Covid touched their lives.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.