Lynsay Boyle, Occupational Health Advisor (OHA) at AXA Health, tells us why she was prepared to help the NHS when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the UK in March.
Before moving into occupational health 10 years ago, Lynsay had a background in critical care. “When the lockdown happened and everything started kicking off, I thought to myself that I had the relevant experience to help in critical areas,” explains Lynsay. “I was prepared to do whatever it took to help.” Lynsay was, at this point, juggling her three-day a week role at AXA Health and helping her eight and nine year old children with their home learning while her husband was working as a key worker in the community.
Following Lynsay’s offer to help, she was asked to support the local hospital’s NHS team by risk assessing staff with underlying conditions, making sure they were working in suitable areas and looking at where they could be redeployed if required. Thanks to her previous work experience, she was able to provide NHS staff and key workers with the tools to do their jobs safely and well. Lynsay was also involved in arranging COVID testing for NHS and community staff, which included assessing referrals and making sure the person met the criteria in terms of symptoms and arranging a testing facility to take them. “I was able to work Monday and Saturday, every other week,” explains Lynsay. “I’ve now finished, but I’ve agreed to go back if we have a regional outbreak here.”
At the forefront
At the time, Lynsay’s family were concerned that she was going out and doing the opposite of everyone else, who were all doing their best to work from home. “My son was upset and worried about me going as I usually work from home, so they were used to me being around and it was a change for them.”
Lynsay volunteered on the premise that she would do it on her own time, but AXA actively encouraged and supported its people to help the NHS, for example picking up any shortfall in pay. "From a moral and ethical standpoint I thought AXA's response was amazing – not furloughing staff, communicating regularly and offering volunteering opportunities,” explains Lynsay. “Being a mum of two also, worrying about being able to concentrate at home, the flexibility has been great and it's fantastic of AXA to provide this. They cut the number of my appointments each day to ease the pressure when my children needed support with home schooling and I was able to take on other work instead.”