RBC bassoonist and paramedic poised to join frontline at Nightingale Hospital

Lucy Morrell

Conservatoire bassoonist and registered paramedic Lucy Morrell is poised to join the frontline efforts to fight COVID-19 at the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham.

Lucy, who is a final-year MMus Instrumental Performance student, has volunteered for redeployment and will be stationed at the temporary hospital at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Despite her musical roots, Lucy initially trained as a paramedic, qualifying in 2012. She worked as a full-time paramedic for five years, before turning part-time to pursue her passion for music. She joined the Conservatoire in 2014, later joining the MMus course, and will graduate this summer.

Following a move to a research role last November, Lucy answered a call-out from her trust for volunteers and will be redeployed to NHS Nightingale when required.

The temporary hospital, which was constructed within eight days, was officially opened by HRH the Duke of Cambridge via video link on Wednesday 16 April. It currently has 500 beds, but this could increase to up to 4,000.

On rejoining the workforce, Lucy said, “As a paramedic, you feel like if there’s a problem, you want to fix it; if there’s something going on you want to help. I’d been feeling completely helpless and useless, but this was something that I could do to really help. I volunteered along with around 200 other people. It’s amazing how willing people are to give their time and help.

“I like being part of two very different worlds. I thought studying to be a paramedic would be the hardest thing I would ever do, and certainly some of the situations I have had to deal with have been, but I have found studying music to be extremely hard work also. You have to take music seriously if you’re ever going to make a future of it. There are some similarities in the problem-solving, attention to detail and calm exterior.”

Lucy has been busy preparing to rejoin the workforce, completing online training in specific COVID-related techniques and best practices.

“As an NHS worker, it’s so wonderful to see all the support and to feel appreciated. It’s amazing, and I know it means a lot to everyone.”

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