A WINCHESTER GP surgery has praised its ‘unsung hero’ – a doctor who has come out of retirement to work for free during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Tim Foster, pictured, came forward in the early stages of the response to the new virus, when he learned that his old practice was facing difficulties, with several staff members off sick, or having to self-isolate.

Dr Foster is still working at St Clements Surgery in Winchester even now. He has been retired for several years, but wanted to come back and help out in the community where he is so well known.

Fay Johnson, practice operations manager, St Clements Surgery, said: “Dr Tim Foster has been our unsung hero at St Clements, supporting the surgery since the start of the lockdown.

“He quietly gets stuck into outstanding telephone appointments and also helps with duty calls too. Nothing is too much trouble and at a drop of a hat he has covered when we have been short. He is too modest to want to take any credit, but he is amazing and we are all very grateful for his dedication.”

Dr Foster has been involved in a full range of duties at the practice, including face-to-face appointments and routine surgeries, to help people who needed medical care.

The praise comes as the Government announced that NHS volunteer responders will be carrying out socially-distanced tasks including helping with delivering food shopping and dropping off personal medication to frontline staff at their homes.

While the country is moving into a new phase in the national effort against this pandemic, health and social care staff on the frontline continue to provide vital care and support to our loved ones, many of whom will still be shielding.

From Monday, the NHS volunteer responders extended their support to health and social care workers across the country, helping them to protect those they care for by making fewer journeys and coming into contact with fewer people so they can focus on and continue their vital work.

Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “The NHS volunteer responders have played a vital role in our response to coronavirus, and I am hugely thankful for their support. Their selfless efforts to protect those who need to shield or self-isolate has helped stop the spread of the virus and alleviated pressure on health and care services during this unprecedented pandemic.”

Since the beginning of April, NHS volunteer responders have completed hundreds of thousands of acts of support and kindness