FORMER NHS workers will set aside fears for the health of their families to “put duty first” by helping the country through the coronavirus outbreak.

Letters are being sent out to more than 65,000 former doctors and nurses, asking them to return to the fold to help boost frontline services.

The move comes after the Government pledged to ensure all hospitals have enough protective gear and ventilators.

But as former Colchester GP Dr Laurel Spooner points out, frontline NHS staff is a broad term encompassing so many essential components.

“There is a double anxiety for front line staff,” she said.

“I mean everyone in contact with cases, including the porters and the cleaners, not just the clinicians.

“They see the really serious cases, which is distressing however professional you are, but on top of that they know there is a real risk they will take it home to their loved ones.

“You have to put duty first and if that is what your role is in society that is what you must do.”

Dr Spooner was expecting her letter to arrive on Saturday morning.

“I am in Gloucester helping with the grandchildren as both my daughter and son-in-law are doctors,” she said.

“I expect to be back in Colchester soon, but I volunteered to do phone consultations here at the start of the week as GPs have been set up to do them from home when necessary.”

In response she received an email sent out to GPs by Gloucester Clinical Commissioning Group detailing the policy she expects the rest of the country will follow.

It says: “Solutions to support the healthcare system could include working in practices, or through the set-up of hubs at primary care network level, via virtual hubs through technology or in community hospitals.”

Dr Spooner is keen to get back to Colchester where she said she will do everything she can to support exhausted colleagues.

She added: “We have had it soft for too long, as the very old keep telling us. Think of the odds the World War Two bomber pilots faced and their courage as they climbed into those flimsy looking planes.

“By comparison, what an individual faces now barely registers on the risk scale.”