THE owners of a hotel have been hailed “hidden heroes” after they put up a GP who is battling on the frontline against coronavirus.

Andrew and Fiona Kendall, who own the Parkside Hotel in Cleator Moor, have opened their doors to NHS staff including Dr Ashley Liston, from Appleby, while he supports his colleagues in neighbouring Copeland.

Dr Liston recently put his retirement on hold to help out in the Covid-19 assessment centre, in Whitehaven.

He said: “I had been planning to retire at the end of March having worked as a GP for 34 years.

“With the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, I decided to postpone my retirement and offered my services to GP teams in north Cumbria.

“Although I live near Appleby, I found myself working in Whitehaven where they have been struggling to recruit GPs, working in the red hub, assessment centre, three days each week.

“I had been expecting to stay overnight in my campervan but was amazed to discover that a local hotel had opened its doors to NHS staff working away from home.

“Andrew and Fiona have been incredibly hospitable, providing me with a room that is mine for as long as I need it.

“These people really are the hidden heroes of this current crisis and I cannot thank them enough for their kindness.

“Getting a good night’s sleep makes all the difference, allowing me to wake up refreshed to do my bit for the NHS.”

Mr and Mrs Kendall said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to help in whatever way we can during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re grateful for everything that staff from the NHS are doing and it’s been wonderful to support them at this incredibly challenging time.”

Dr Liston also joined a nurse staying at the hotel to give Mr and Mrs Kendall their own #clapforcarers to say thanks.

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust has 25 members of staff who’ve been placed in alternative accommodation, across various sites.

The NHS in north Cumbria has been inundated with kind donations from local Cumbrian communities, for staff and patients.

If any other organisations would like to offer support, email or alternatively call 01228 814567.