Herts Heroes: Visiting lecturer Michele Charles returns to the frontline

Michele Charles, retired Head of Department of Nursing and now Visiting Lecturer is our Herts Hero today as she has contributed so much to helping those who have been affected by Covid-19. We really appreciate the time she has given to help those in need during this difficult time.

Michele Charles

Giving Back

Since retiring last September from her full-time post as Head of Department of Nursing, Health and Wellbeing in the School of Health and Social Work at the university, Michele has been enjoying her retirement by travelling, including some amazing trips to India, the Caribbean and Australia. However, due to the current global situation, Michele had to return home early from Australia. Although she is still a visiting lecturer for the university, the pandemic left Michele with some spare time on her hands.

Michele wanted to use her nursing and management experience to help those who were struggling in the current crisis. She says;

 “I made a couple of enquiries and because of my past experience, I have been recruited to be one of six Clinical Shift Managers located around the country for the newly established Covid Response Service.”

The Covid Response service has been set up by the National Pandemic Flu service to work alongside NHS 111, to deal with specific coronavirus-related calls. It is operating from a number of existing non-clinical call centres around the country, and Nurse Floorwalkers are being recruited locally to support the call- handlers in the call centres.

Providing support

Michele has been providing remote support for the Nurse Floorwalkers in various centres, providing co-ordination and clinical supervision, and visiting some of the call centres in turn to give more personal support, training and clinical governance for the Nurse Floorwalkers, and for remote call-handlers working from their homes. She says;

“This is not easy when there are 18 CRS call centres spread around the country and several call centres operate 24/7.
 We are still recruiting new nurses and paramedics to act as "floorwalkers" in each call centre, supporting and advising the non-clinical call-handlers.” 

Training others

As well as this, Michele has been participating in the training of new staff; liaising with the rest of the team and the national team managers; dealing with enquiries from the Nurse Floorwalkers; and setting up systems for approving timesheets for the nurses. 

Michele explains how things are changing so quickly. She says,

“Things seem to change almost daily as new advice and information come out. Quite a lot has happened – and changed – in just over a fortnight, though it seems longer.”

Thank you

We are extremely proud of Michele and how she has used her experience and time to help those in need. Michele comments on her experience and says, “although busy, it is nice to feel that I have been able to have some small share in making a difference in the current horrible situation, and also to know that some of the good experience I built up in my years at UH is still proving useful! My brain is bursting with new information and answers to FAQs at the moment!”

However, even though she is extremely busy, Michele hasn’t forgotten about her colleagues and students here at Herts.

 “If there is any way I can be of use to the University in this worrying time, I am happy to help. My best wishes go out to all my colleagues and students at UH who are also doing what they can in various ways in this crisis.

Thank you again Michele for everything you are doing to help in the current crisis. You are a treasured member of the Herts community – a true Herts Hero, and we are very proud of you!


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