Beaminster paramedic among hundreds of stranded NHS staff

Beaminster paramedic among hundreds of stranded NHS staff

Published by George Sharpe at 3:32pm 25th March 2020.

A paramedic from Beaminster is among hundreds of other NHS staff unable to return to the UK.

Ned Starling is campaigning to get back to the UK after spending three months abroad in Australia for the trip of a lifetime.

Now, he says he's in a group of over 100 nurses waiting to return home. 

"From what we've found out so far it's going to be impossible for us to get home without help from the government.", Ned said.

Ned Starling
Ned Starling and his girlfriend (a nurse at Dorset County Hospital) left three months ago for a 'once in a lifetime' trip

Any flights that are leaving the country are extremely expensive - many exceeding $10,000.

Ned said:

"I feel I have a bit of a duty to be at home in the UK looking after the British people, I understand it's much worse than it is here, unfortunately.

"There are hundreds upon undreds of nurses, paramedics and doctors all communicating on groups trying to sign petitions, contact MP's... to get back because I feel like we're really useful."

"It seems to me there's about 500 or so NHS staff workers that want to get home now, but there doesn't seem to be anyway to get home at all."

Ned and his girlfriend, who is a nurse at Dorset County Hospital, have had no contact with the Foreign Office, despite ringing all day.

They've registered their details as being stuck in Australia, but haven't heard back.

MP for South Dorset, Richard Drax asked the Foreign Secretary in the Commons about people, like Ned, who are stranded across the world:

"The bulk are in Spain,"

"Could he just tell the House how we are going to get them home as soon as we can?"

Dominic Raab replied that in Spain, there had been an announcement that hotels would close today.

Mr Raab confirmed that he had spoken to the Spanish Foreign Minister to ensure that "no Brit would be kicked out of their hotel" while the Foreign Office "pursues the effort with the commercial airlines to get the Brits back - and that will take some time because of the volume."