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Gamekeepers step up to help provide vital supplies

Gamekeepers and moorland managers have stepped up to help NHS frontline staff working at local doctors' surgeries.

After being approached to help supply eye protection, shooting estates in the Yorkshire Dales arranged to provide hundreds of pairs of protective glasses to 16 local surgeries.

Public Health England guidance concerning the way in which "face to face" interviews between doctor and patient should be conducted included the required usage of protective glasses. The Central Dales Practice, which operates two GP surgeries, one at Hawes and the other at Aysgarth, had made enquiries from six separate suppliers to buy the necessary safety glasses, but none were immediately available.

Fortunately, Lynn Irwin, managing partner at the Central Dales Practice, is married to a local grouse keeper and together they contacted the estate to see if they could help. Following the request, local estates swiftly made available 255 pairs of protective glasses which have been safely distributed between a total of 16 surgeries in the Dales area.

Mrs Irwin said: "A special thanks to Richard Johnson of the Simonstone Estate who ensured that within hours of our plea on Friday, we had the glasses in our hands."

Mrs Irwin's husband Marcus, a local grouse keeper, added: "NHS staff are putting themselves at risk on the frontline in the battle against the coronavirus, this is the least we can do to support our local doctors and nurses as they stand ready to care for our friends and families.

"We all need to do our bit to get through this, and we are committed to help in any way we can."

Gamekeepers and moorland managers have always played a vital role in the community and will continue to do so during this crisis.

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