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Coronavirus: West Hampstead doctor who volunteered for Covid-19 ward raises more than £10,000 for NHS

PUBLISHED: 08:39 16 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:17 16 April 2020

Dr Josh Michaels with his PPE. Picture: Dr Josh Michaels

Dr Josh Michaels with his PPE. Picture: Dr Josh Michaels

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A West Hampstead based junior doctor has raised £10,000 for the NHS and is hoping the sense of ‘community togetherness’ the crisis has created can be sustained once the pandemic is over.

Dr Josh Michaels is a surgical trainee at the Royal London Hospital.

Although he usually works on the ear, nose and throat team, he volunteered to work on an intensive treatment unit and decided to launch a fundraiser to coincide with his first shifts at the coalface.

“I wanted to do my part,” he said. “I thought it would be quite a nice angle to say as I start my job, I will broadcast some of it with the hope of trying to raise some money for the charity supporting us.”

Josh, 30, has been fundraising for the Barts Charity, which supports six east London hospitals including the Royal London and the new Nightingale Hospital.

He said: “My original target was £1,000, but within a day we had reached it. We had anonymous donors, others were names neither my fiancee or I recognised. It’s mind-boggling how it has taken off. It’s not something I expected.”

Josh said his experience so far had been largely positive. He said: “Within the hospital there’s a good sense of camaraderie between the junior doctors. The day before my first shift, there was an element of apprehension, but that was as much about working in a new team as anything else.

“How has it been? I won’t lie to you, it’s a very, very, very difficult job. And it can be back-breaking. What gets you through is the teamwork and the support from the people you are working with – the doctors, the health care assistants, the nurses. It’s incredible.”

The junior doctor, who grew up in Edgware, added: “I can’t speak highly enough of the ITU nurses at our trust. the work they do is incredible and often quite distressing.”

Josh emphasised the difference he thought public support for NHS staff was making to the battle against coronavirus.

He said: “While we have this community togetherness I would like to see it carry through, even beyond Covid. Everything people are doing at home, even if it’s just staying home, that’s what’s helping us win this battle.”

To support Josh’s crowdfunding, see justgiving.com/fundraising/joshua-michaels . Josh is documenting his work treating coronavirus patients on Instagram on @joshua_michaels_

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