Jayne Redpath, the matron for surgery and elective care talks about her experience of the pandemic and why it’s been so important to maintain operations for patients during this time.
Now that some sort of normality is returning it’s natural that people are talking more about routine surgery and the day-to-day work that always happens around the hospital.
It’s certainly felt like a long and difficult time since those first weeks and months when Covid19 hit.
I’m really proud of the way we’ve been able to cope not just with the pandemic but also the way we’ve all looked after our patients and each other so well.
Since the start of the pandemic we were planning very carefully to make sure that a large backlog did not build up because of Covid. Thankfully we still managed to complete a large amount of our routine, elective activity – while urgent cancer operations, trauma surgery and orthopaedic surgery have never really stopped.
Typically, in my area I’d see around 50 or 60 patients a day but the start of the pandemic was a real shock for everyone.
The last 14 months or so have been incredibly challenging for the whole team because I think sometimes people forget NHS staff have had to contend with the day job as well as all the other issues that the rest of the public have during lockdown.
As well as worrying about their own families our teams have been supporting patients so well during this whole time to make sure they don’t have long waiting times or chronic pain.
Despite the lockdown we still carried out around 14,500 procedures or operations during the pandemic which is something we are really proud of.
Our patients have been so grateful to us and it’s been fantastic to be able to help so many people get access to the services they need in such a timely way.
We’ve worked so hard to make sure it is as safe as possible for people coming in with things like temperature checks, advance testing, patient isolation and a huge amount of infection prevention control that has been put in place.
Even before Covid we had really stepped up the day case work which is so much better for patients because they don’t have to spend a night in hospital and also means we can see more people, getting them through the system faster.
Now that things feel like getting back to some sort of normality I’d just like to urge people to use NHS service sensibly but please do not be afraid to come in and attend appointments because we’re still here for you.
To find out more about what Northumbria has done to ensure vital services could continue click here