A research clerk at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital has raised funds to buy more than 50 tubes of moisturising cream for staff, declaring: “We’re looking after their hands while they look after our lives.”

 Rachel works on the High Dependency Unit (HDU) at the Oswestry-based hospital and has seen first-hand how busy all staff have been responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

While regular orthopaedic surgery has been halted, the hospital has taken on orthopaedic trauma work instead – offering a service for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, as well as those from North Wales. That has helped to free up capacity in the acute hospitals to manage an influx of covid-19 patients.

Rachel was determined to find a way she could help support the staff, and saw an urgent need to provide hand creams. She took to Facebook, asking friends and family to help with donations – and quickly gathered in more than £150.

“It was just something I wanted to do as a tiny act of kindness for as many of the wonderful staff at the hospital as I could,” said Rachel, whose role involves compiling reports and submitting data from HDU patients to the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC).

“We’re all being told to wash our hands much more than usual, and as you can imagine it is even more the case for those working in frontline roles in hospital.

“It’s making hands so sore, and I thought the least we could do was to help look after their hands while they look after our lives.

“I’m so grateful to all my friends and family who donated – and I know this will help some of our fantastic staff who are working so hard.”

Everyone at RJAH has been overwhelmed by the generosity of individuals, community groups and businesses who have offered their support in recent weeks.

Anyone wanting to offer any kind of support to the hospital is now being asked to get in touch via one central point by emailing rjah.covid19@nhs.net.

Stacey Keegan, Acting Chief Executive of the specialist orthopaedic hospital, said: “Rachel’s kind act will really help our staff and we are delighted to have her on the RJAH team.

“We’re so grateful to everyone who has offered us their support in these challenging teams. Your help makes such a big difference and gives real lift to our staff.

“Thank you from everyone at RJAH for everything you are doing for us. It is wonderful to see the country as a whole pulling together to support each other and the NHS. Together we will come through this period.”

Pictured: Rachel Anslow on the High Dependency Unit at RJAH with the hand creams bought by staff with donations from her friends and family.