Salvation Army officer returns to NHS on Covid-19 frontline

published on 2 Jun 2020

When the coronavirus pandemic was declared and the NHS put a call out for trained staff to return to help on the front line, Salvation Army Officer, Daniel Holland was torn.

He knew his current role as a key worker as an Assistant Regional Officer in the Salvation Army’s Homelessness Services Unit was vital, supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities affected by homelessness across London and the south east of England.  But he also knew that as a trained registered nurse, his expert skills to care for those affected by Covid-19 were invaluable.

Lieutenant Daniel Holland said: “I simply couldn’t stay at home at the weekends when I knew people were suffering. I had to help the NHS because they need my skills at the moment.  I will continue help the NHS for as long as they need me.” 

Lieutenant Daniel Holland in Salvation Army uniform and nurses uniform

After prayerful consideration and discussion with his family and colleagues, Daniel realised there was only one option.  The Salvation Army needed him but so did the NHS.  So, since Easter, Daniel has worked for The Salvation Army Monday to Friday and in his free time at weekends and bank holidays, he has left his young family at home to go to work as a nurse on a Covid-19 ward at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Essex.

I simply couldn’t stay at home at the weekends when I knew people were suffering. I had to help the NHS because they need my skills at the moment.
Lieutenant Daniel Holland

Daniel has been warmly welcomed back into the NHS by nursing and medical teams who are caring for patients who have tested positive for Covid-19. His Salvation Army colleagues and fellow officers are happy to know he is supporting not one but two essential organisations during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Lieutenant Daniel said: “Nursing is so varied and whether I am giving out medications or simply sitting by someone’s side, I don’t see a distinction between my nursing and my officership.  When I am a nurse on the ward, I am very much a Salvation Army officer too and I think that brings an added dimension to my role as a nurse.  Nursing patients who are critically ill is always emotionally and spiritually demanding but I have that great assurance that tomorrow is a better day.”

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