The chief executive of NHS Grampian says she is thankful to “a lot” of former staff and volunteers who have come forward to support the health board through coronavirus.
Former staff responded to appeals to make themselves available should they be needed in the weeks ahead.
Professor Amanda Croft said: “We’ve had a lot of people contact us who used to work for the health service. We have a list of them and are contacting them as we speak to see what they can do to help.”
She admitted that staff will face a major challenge in its hospitals over the coming months but everything that can be done is being done.
She said: “This is an unprecedented situation for everybody but we’re used to business continuity planning. It’s something the public sector does a lot of. So I feel very confident that we are very well prepared.”
Prof Croft admitted she had no idea how many cases staff could be dealing with but, in line with national guidelines, non-elective operations had been cancelled to allow extra capacity and extra bed space is being created in the larger acute hospitals.
School closures and staff availability is a concern she said, but “everything is being done to ensure staff could come to work”.
Prof Croft said she was confident staff and patients had enough protective equipment but they key was prevention and making sure everyone obeyed the national guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
She added: “Aberdeen Royal Infirmary will cope with the capacity that it has. The Health Service has a good record of coping. We will cope with whatever’s in front of us. It might be in a different way but we will cope.”