A CONSULTANT has come out of retirement to join the frontline to help colleagues in the battle against coronavirus.

For the past two year, Dr Brian Bradley has been enjoying his retirement, taking holidays, learning Spanish, playing bridge and walking.

But now he is back at work helping medical teams at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Bradley worked for nearly 25 years at the Royal Bolton Hospital as a Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine, including a spell as Clinical Head of Division for Acute Adult Care.

On March 31 ­— two years to the day since he retired ­— he came back in order to hold patient telephone consultations from Bolton One.

“Once the virus started appearing in this country it was clear things were going to get difficult,” he said. “I knew I needed to help.”

The General Medical Council put out a call asking if retired doctors would be prepared to go back to work. Dr Bradley talked it over with his wife and children, and then discussed with the Trust how his skills and experience might be put to best use.

Dr Bradley said: “It was a fairly easy decision.

“There was no point in just twiddling my thumbs and there was no point in leaving it too late.”

Dr Bradley refreshed his knowledge, brought himself up to date with developments in medicine and at the Trust, and retook his mandatory training.

Now three days a week he holds his respiratory telephone clinic with patients who have conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or who have previously had cancer and need follow-ups.

Dr Bradley checks how they are and if they have the medication they need. He said the patients are really appreciative of this support in these difficult times.

Importantly, his support takes some of the pressure off his colleagues in respiratory medicine who are devoting their time to caring for sick patients with Covid-19 at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

“I’d worked with these doctors and nurses for 25 years,” he said, “I knew I needed to do something to help them and to help the patients.Dr Brian Bradley

Dr Bradley is the latest medic to put his retirement plans on hold to help in the fight against covid-19.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust announced this week that their Senior Resuscitation Officer Mike Gallagher has volunteered to work at the hospital despite the fact he was going to retire.He will be working in the hospital's intensive care unit and has already started nursing patients who are seriously ill with the virus.

Nationally, hundreds of medics have returned.