TWO doctors have returned to the NHS to help staff faced with increasing pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Renowned business partners Dr Victoria Manning and Dr Charlotte Woodward, who work at cosmetic clinic River Aesthetics in Canford Cliffs, Poole, are now lending a helping hand by answering 111 calls.

It comes following Victoria's experience of contracting coronavirus almost a month ago - after her daughter Ella returned from an area having worked there as a ski instructor, where a number of coronavirus patients had emanated.

Although Ella was asymptomatic, her mother believes she may have been a carrier.

Having now made a full recovery, she said: "I felt like I had been run over by a bus. I slept for 17 hours a day, had extreme chills and shivers, and a dry cough.

"Having experienced the virus for myself, I felt compelled to do my bit and help others suffering.

"The big problem with the coronavirus is not knowing who you are in contact with and therefore need to avoid."

Having both closed their aesthetics practices - including their second clinic in London - they are now answering 111 calls and triaging patients on the phone, due to calls to the service having quadrupled.

Both Victoria and Charlotte have 20 years experience as GPs within the NHS - including when Victoria had worked as a GP at a boarding school when the SARs outbreak occurred in 2003.

Victoria added: "My experience of isolating patients during the SARs crisis is very similar, however with SARs, younger patients were more symptomatic and their symptoms more severe, and therefore it was easy to isolate them.

"With Covid-19, younger patients are often asymptomatic and that is why it has spread so much more easily.

"Both viruses stemmed from wet markets in China where wild animals such as bats are on sale and incidentally, these have been allowed to reopen in China. It is incredible that this can happen."