Hertfordshire GP group delivers food parcels to local care home staff

A group of 75 GPs in Hertfordshire has raised money to provide food parcels to care home staff working in the county.

GPs Dr Muyiwa Ojo-Aromokudu (left) and Dr Charles Esene (far right) from Afro GP Herts delivered food essentials and a message of support to Dunsland House Care Home in Berkhamstead last week
GPs Dr Muyiwa Ojo-Aromokudu (left) and Dr Charles Esene (far right) from Afro GP Herts delivered food essentials and a message of support to Dunsland House Care Home in Berkhamstead last week

The group, Afro GP Herts, an educational group for GPs of African descent living or working in Hertfordshire, said it wanted to support the 'forgotten frontline workers'.

The group's facilitator Dr Charles Esene explained that while NHS staff may get priority access in many supermarkets 'a carer who has done a long night shift will still have to queue'.

He said that this prompted the group to raise money among themselves to show their support to the staff working in local care homes.

'As GPs we work directly with the care homes and we see first-hand the impact of the virus here,' Dr Esene said. 'And we also see the efforts by the care home staff caring for patients in these very difficult times. The numbers of deaths being mentioned in the news are for those who die from COVID-19 in the hospitals. The huge numbers dying in the care homes are unaccounted for at the moment.

'In the same vein, whilst a lot of praise and support, and rightly so, is being given to frontline NHS workers, the carers in the care homes, which are being ravaged by this pandemic, also seem unnoticed.'

Care home staff

Fellow group member Dr Nonye Agomo said that the GPs had discussed how to 'do something for other people' during the pandemic and a number of options had been suggested. But, she said, 'the one that touched everyone the most was care workers'.

'Care homes have been a bit ignored and they needed a bit of morale boosting. They felt forgotten,' Dr Agomo said. 'As GPs we work with them very closely with them and we admire how hard the staff there work.'

Afro GP Herts selected 14 homes across the county and last Friday two GPs visited each home to deliver the food supplies and to thank staff for the work they have been doing. Each home received bread, eggs, pasta, fruit and plantain chips to distribute among staff.

Dr Agomo, who delivered food to a care home in Watford, said: 'The manager at the home was really grateful – they were very happy to receive the donations, and it was lovely to feel like we were doing something good.'

Dr Esene said that the group was planning further initiatives to support the local community during the COVID-19 outbreak in the coming months.

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