Honoured NHS carer says he is on the planet to help people

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An NHS carer has said looking after people is what he is “on the planet for”, after being recognised for helping Covid patients during the pandemic.

Alex Griffiths, 22, from Dudley, in the West Midlands, is awarded a BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, having cared for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, since the age of five, and later helping his grandparents.

He said he began an apprenticeship as a clinical support worker at Russells Hall Hospital in September 2019, going on to help in Covid wards.

The work involved end-of-life care, supporting seriously ill patients in what could be their last moments.

“It’s not something that I’m perfect at and it’s not something I’m great at, but I like to think I’m at least good at it and I give it my best shot, just to try and help people the best I can.

“It can get very hard because if you’re working in the NHS anyway, you know exactly what it’s like to look after people. You will sadly have a patient pass away.

“During Covid that was unfortunately a lot more regular. And so there is that toll of, you meet your patient and the next day you come in, you might have a new patient in that bed, and you don’t need to ask why unfortunately.

“And so it is hard because you just get that relationship, you’re doing the best you can for that patient, they’re looking good and then something happens.”

He said care is “a lifelong career” which is extremely rewarding as it gives him the chance to make “somebody smile”.

Mr Griffiths, one of the youngest recipients on this year’s honours list, said the job involves “juggling” lots of different things.

Asked about the honour, he added: “I’m still convinced it’s not real, still convinced it’s a joke, somebody’s going to jump out in a minute and say it’s a joke. It’s going to happen.

“It’s just, it’s mind blowing. It is.  I feel like I’ve cheated the system a bit because there are people who I’ve worked with who are amazing and have done so much, a lot more than me.”

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