“I’ve never been more proud to be a nurse” – Cumbria businesswoman’s return to NHS during coronavirus crisis

“I’ve never been more proud to be a nurse” – Cumbria businesswoman’s return to NHS during coronavirus crisis

Young businesswoman Charlotte Treloar admits she has a tough choice to make after returning to the NHS to help in the fight against coronavirus.

Charlotte, 27, is working with Covid-19 patients at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary. Rules and restrictions imposed to tackle the spread of the virus has meant she's had to put her beauty business on hold.

Yet the University of Cumbria nursing graduate says she has never been more proud to be a nurse and working for the NHS as she is now.

Dedicated, Charlotte continues to remain committed to her patients even though she lives alone and far from her close family, regularly going above and beyond to assist those in her care whilst their loved ones are unable to visit.

Meanwhile Charlotte’s father is in self-isolation as he battles cancer, her mother lives in Dubai and her sister is also a nurse, based in Leeds. Charlotte turned down her mother’s offer to go and stay with her in Middle East as the pandemic took hold.

Charlotte qualified as a nurse six years ago, graduating from University of Cumbria after first studying health and social care near her home in Penrith. After a period working as a nurse, Charlotte later launched her own business, Barefaced Brows.

Now back as among the #NHSheroes, Charlotte said: “It is difficult, particularly when staffing levels can be affected and colleagues are unable to work, but I’ve never been prouder. Being part of the team I’m in now is a privilege. The camaraderie we have if great and we are looking out for each other. We are working all the hours we can to support our patients and people are being so kind, dropping things off at the hospital for all who are working here.

“Although it can be draining and tiring for us I think it must be scary for our patients who come in and are unable to see loved ones. Whilst we know that this is our ‘new normal’ at the moment and the conditions we have to work in, patients who are coming into the ward may be understandably frightened. We are doing all we can to reassure them, support them whilst maintaining our nursing skills and doing our job under the circumstances.

“We’re getting to know patients, really know them, their likes, dislikes, their favourite things. We’re often bringing things in to help them where we can.”

In her spare time, members of Charlotte’s ‘CrossFit Cumbria’ family are helping her relax, lending her equipment to enjoy workout sessions at home.

Returning to nursing full time is having a huge impact on Charlotte’s outlook.

Looking ahead, she said: “I know that I am going to have a massive decision to make when the time comes about what I’m going to do in the future. This has made me realise that my heart is in caring and looking after people. Waving patients as they leave us and being part of the care they’ve received is overwhelming at times; it has made me think that I may want to keep this on.”

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Pro Vice Chancellor (Health) at the university, said: “Charlotte’s contribution is admirable. Her service is a testament and shining example of that which is being shown by so many thousands of nurses and allied health professionals who have answered the nation’s call for their skills, experience and dedication.

“We extend our thanks to Charlotte for her sacrifices which are ensuring that the skills and knowledge she developed during her time with us are going to help countless others in our communities and save lives.”

Some final year student nurses, midwives and allied health students from the university’s respected Institute of Health are also helping in the response to the coronavirus crisis. Many have taken up appropriate roles to support the registered workforce in a comprehensive approach that could increase the NHS workforce in Cumbria and North Lancashire by an additional 352 student nurses. The university’s Pro Vice Chancellor (Health) Professor Brian Webster-Henderson has played a pivotal role in shaping the national agreements that have facilitated students across the UK to support the NHS at this time.

* Charlotte talks about her return to the NHS here.