'Still open for business' - the message from Arrowe Park Hospital one year since first Britons arrived from Wuhan

This week marks a year since the first flights of Britons evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan arrived in Wirral for quarantine. 

Since then Arrowe Park Hospital has seen hundreds of coronavirus patients, and faced the huge challenge of keeping the regular work of the hospital going. 

In the height of the third wave of the pandemic, Daisy Gerritsen was rushed to Arrowe Park Hospital after having a heart attack.

Daisy Gerritsen was rushed to Arrowe Park Hospital after having a heart attack

Jen Gerritsen, Daisy's mum said: "Daisy is clinically vulnerable, and we were nervous about that. But once we got to hospital and saw the measures that were put in place to try to avoid cross infection, then we had confidence in that. They're all mums and dads and aunts and uncles themselves - with homes and family lives."

The Gerritsens say their message to hospital is thank you. And for staff who are tired and anxious after months of surging demand, it's a message they need to hear.

Dr Nicola Stevenson, Arrowe Park Hospital

Staff at Arrowe Park have borne the brunt of the pandemic longer than anyone. It was where the first Brits evacuated from Wuhan were sent for quarantine.

Dr Stevenson said: "We are still open for business. We're still very busy with Covid patients and non-Covid patients. But everyone is managing and everyone is hopeful."

Matt Raw was one of those who quarantined at the hospital. Leaving a house and life in China has cost his family thousands of pounds. But he says the it's the human cost which angers him most.

Matt Raw was one of the first Britons repatriated from Wuhan and quarantined at Arrowe Park Hospital

Matt said: "It's frustrated me since the word go, since we came out of Arrowe Park. Within a week I was saying "Why aren't we locking down the county?"

"It just makes a complete joke of everything that we did. I think the staff at Arrowe Park, everything that they did for us, if they did even one per cent of that for everyone else that's been coming through the doors this year, that in itself is a miracle, and very well done to them."

These thoughts are echoed by Daisy, who is now back home and recovering well. Her family wishing the hospital staff a similar strength as they face the difficult weeks ahead.