Lessons learned during Covid-19 with Malton Community Hospital

Published: 31 March 2021 to 31 December 2098

We spoke to the team at the Fitzwilliam Ward in Malton during the first wave to hear about the challenges they faced during the first UK lockdown last March. Almost a whole year has passed since then, and as we continue to grapple with the effects of Coronavirus on a global scale. We caught up with Fiona Scott, Ward Clerk, to hear about what’s happened since then and what COVID-19 has taught them, that they are taking into the future.

When the second wave approached I think we felt very similarly to how I imagine most people felt – a sense of dread, but at the same time, it is what it is. We knew what a rise in cases means for the country and for our work and it was about just getting on with it and continuing to do our jobs.

We have gradually adapted to new ways of working since the first wave so there wasn’t the same fear of the unknown the second time around. We knew what we needed to do to keep our patients safe and that’s exactly what we were going to do.

I think one of the benefits of working during the second wave is the vaccine. We are very lucky and had the vaccine quite early on, and we’re just about to receive our second dose. It gives you a sense of hope whilst also making you feel even more confident about being safe and protecting the people around you.

 

“I think the NHS have done themselves proud in getting the vaccine to us so quickly and in such an organised way. I feel very positive about the entire experience and I couldn’t be prouder to work for the NHS.”

 

I’m also very proud of the way in which our team have adapted. It was all so quick and urgent at the beginning, but over time we finessed our routine and all of the changes we made have continued and I think a lot of them will continue into the future as well.

Only time will tell how long we will be working in these ways, but for us at the moment, this is our ‘new normal’. We are accustomed to the new ways of working and there have been some benefits.

We are all more tech savvy and have embraced digital ways for working. Microsoft Teams was something that there was uncertainty about in beginning, but now we couldn’t feel better about it. It helps us connect with people easily and brings teams together. It has also supported things like recruitment during times of no face to face appointments.

 

“We’ve really shown ourselves how adaptable we can be and how well we can work under pressure. Every time we have been met with a challenge we have adapted and continued to do everything we can to keep our patients safe.”

 

 Supporting each other has been vital at this time. I am so thankful for the people I have around me at work. We’re a close-knit team and always want to lift one another up when we might be having a bad day. Our Ward Manager, Janet Howe, is brilliant and has supported us all endlessly throughout this experience.

We have also felt very supported by other teams during this time. Our Infection Prevention and Control have been exceptionally supportive and we know they are always there at the end of the phone if we need anything. Patient feedback has been great at this time as well.

During the second lockdown, it was apparent that most of our patients had a better understanding of what was happening and why certain restrictions were in place, such as us wearing masks and no visitation from family and friends.

Restricting visiting was always a tough one, but we found new ways to cope. We have cordless telephones and have done everything we can to make sure that connection is maintained in new ways.

When thinking about what I have learned from this whole experience, I would say I have learned to take each day as it comes. No one knows when or if this will all be over, so it’s better to think about the here and now.

I also want to say how grateful I am to have been able to come into work during this time; I don’t think I would’ve coped half as well if I didn’t have my daily routine to keep me busy. I’m proud of my team and how each of them have continued to come into work, even when things were quite frightening and uncertain, and how we have continued to maintain a high quality of care throughout all of the ups and downs along the way.

I feel part of a really strong team, and I am appreciative of them and their efforts every day.

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