Doctor's experiences on the frontline at The Royal Oldham Hospital

A Syrian refugee doctor based at The Royal Oldham Hospital has shared his experiences of working on the NHS frontline during COVID-19 as part of a special series.

Dr Ahmad Alomar was interviewed by veteran journalist Fergal Keane from BBC News as part of their COVID-19 coverage to find out more about his experiences of working as a doctor in the UK during COVID-19, and the interview looks at how this compares with his work as a doctor in wartime Syria.

Dr Alomar, who works as a Diabetes Specialist on wards F10, G1 and AMU at The Royal Oldham, spoke about how he is dealing with the challenges faced by frontline doctors like him every day as a result of COVID-19.

He started working at the Rochdale Road hospital in September 2019 after moving to the UK following his work as a doctor in Aleppo, Syria. He came to the UK in 2014 and he now lives with his wife and two children in Salford.

Dr Alomar joined the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group via the REACHE North West Programme, which helps healthcare professionals to come and work in the UK. The REACHE North West programme has a unique training centre based at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and is funded by the European Refugee Fund. Since 2003, the programme has supported over 300 refugee healthcare professionals to enter paid employment in the UK, including Dr Alomar.

Crews spent a day filming Dr Alomar going about his daily duties caring for patients on wards F10, F7 and AMU. They asked him to explain he how is coping mentally with the challenges faced by COVID-19 and how he is supporting other colleagues at The Royal Oldham through the challenges faced by all our teams.

Dr Alomar said: "I’m very lucky that I’m supported by a great team at Oldham. All my colleagues, the leadership team and the Trust have been very supportive since I started working as a doctor in the UK. This has made it much easier for me make the transition from working in wartime Syria to life as a doctor in the UK. I work as part of a close knit team and we all work hard to support each other through the challenges we face with COVID-19."

You can view Dr Alomar’s interview here https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000jk9r/bbc-news-at-six-25052020 (it starts at 15.34)

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