A GP practice recruited students and school workers to help it through the peak of the coronavirus crisis.

As schools and universities closed back in March, Tadcaster Medical Centre recruited two trainee dispensers and two delivery drivers who were students taking a break from their studies, to ensure patients continued to received their medicines.

The GP practice employed Georgia Turton, 19, a student at Nottingham University, 18-year-old Elinor Botherway, who was studying her A-levels in Harrogate, 20-year-old Euan Inglis, a medical student in Edinburgh and his brother Adam Inglis, 25, an art technician in a secondary school in London, to expand their team as well as covering existing staff who were themselves absent due to shielding.

A delivery dispensing service had never been offered to patients before but within two weeks, the new team had delivered crucial medicines to all patients over 60 or on the shielding list. During the first two days the drivers covered more than 100 miles per day within the practice area.

This service ran from April to August.

Dawn Hall, pharmacy dispenser at Tadcaster Medical Centre, said: “At the start of the pandemic two dispensers had to shield immediately, this put huge pressure on the remaining team especially as demand skyrocketed and so the trainees have been a huge benefit to our practice and patients. They were very much a part of the team and will be missed.

“Patients loved being delivered to but now that services have resumed, feedback from patients shows that they really enjoy the normality of coming to collect their prescriptions and having a chat with the team.”

The trainee dispensers and delivery drivers have returned to their schools and universities, however the trainees will return to the medical centre to cover the winter holidays. They hope to reach their 1,000 hours over time as well as completing their Buttercups training, a qualification for dispensing doctors initiated by GP practices as part of the Dispensing Quality Scheme.