A student who began working for the NHS 111 call service after his aunt contracted coronavirus says it is a chance to “give something back”.
Ollie Farquharson, 18, from near Kidderminster, was due to sit his A-levels this summer, but they were cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
His aunt, Kate Fox, 56, died after contracting the virus and he said he wanted to do something “proactive”.
He is being featured in Paramedics: Britain’s Lifesavers on Channel 4.
Ollie said, after the death of his aunt, who had taught literacy at the Thorns Collegiate Academy, near Dudley, there was a “massive outpouring” of support.
“It was quite crazy to see the amount of people who came out in support, it was really quite nice,” he said.
“Coming here gives me the chance to provide more advice. People are still being affected, so it is a chance to give something back.”
After his exams Ollie had been due to spend three weeks volunteering in India, but it had been cancelled.
He said moving from his studies at King Edward VI College, Stourbridge, to a clinical environment was “very different”.
“I had worked in a pharmacy during my A-levels as a weekend job, so I had some community healthcare interest, but it was definitely totally different,” he said.
At NHS 111, Ollie answers calls from patients and arranges for them to receive medical advice, which could be making an appointment with a doctor, or arranging for them to speak to a clinician.
And having his first shift on camera added an extra layer of nervousness.
“The patients are still there, they are not aware there is any difference to the service, it was just added to it all, which was quite nerve-wracking,” he said.
He is also set to be trained to answer 999 emergency medical calls, which he said would be “another shock to the system”.
The first episode of the series will be shown on 13 July at 21:00 BST.
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