Covid-19 A&E and Critical Care staff need your help!

During the Coronavirus crisis, helping the community and supporting vital NHS staff has never been more important. Set up by a couple of friends of mine Janneke and Niall, a group of local volunteers are running meals direct to front line workers in ICU, numerous wards, A&E and paramedics 3 times a day.  These front line staff were struggling to access meals when at work at the hospital.

The volunteers have worked with local business and restaurants willing to offer healthy meals at hugely discounted price. This food has been delivered to St Georges Hospital every day at lunchtime, early evening and night, to feed front line staff on all their shifts.

It has been such a morale boost for everyone. This initiative is helping local businesses and looking after these incredibly brave and dedicated staff at the same time.

Currently delivering 200 freshly prepared and cooked meals direct to the front line NHS workers 3 times a day. Deliveries are undertaken by a team of local volunteers, who drive to the donating restaurants, collect and load the food and take it straight to the hospital whilst still hot. Medical Students meet the vehicles and take the food straight to the staff on the wards, Critical Care Units and A&E.

The businesses are delighted to help and have gone the extra mile, personally decorating cupcakes with special morale boosting messages and popping in extra treats to show their appreciation for everything the staff are doing.

In addition, the charity have used funds raised, to buy essential PPE, in particular goggles for front line staff. To ensure they received them as quickly as possible before more of them were put at risk. They also donated 10 ipads to enable conscious patients to communicate directly with their relatives as they are necessarily in hospital without visitors.

The charity founders are currently looking at collaborating with other similar operations set up to support other London hospitals.

Please share this with anyone who can support us and send donations to this link:

Covid-19 A&E and Critical Care staff need your help!

https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8nvYv7w5NH .

Follow @CriticalNhs for regular updates.

 

Supporting our front line workers

 

Supporting our front line workers

CriticalNHS First Aid for Life

The heartfelt plea from my friend Anthea, a Senior Sister on CCU – which triggered this initiative:

 

I am a Senior Sister on Critical Care at St Georges Hospital. The hospital is in crisis- our executive staff are being amazing and the front line staff incredible. My nursing colleagues expose themselves daily to the the threat of Covid 19.The hospital are doing all they can to protect the staff with PPE training to safely care for all patients.We are opening other areas within the hospital to nurse critically ill patients in and employing agency staff to help out. We continue to receive trauma patients and those suffering from other medical or surgical issues through accident, illness or surgery.I am proud of my colleagues.

The nurses are stretched to the limit anyway but now are under immense pressure. I have seen tears, fear and exhaustion and last week some of the shops within St Georges refused to sell food, drinks & snacks to staff in scrubs or uniforms so staff missed meals. Supplies have been stolen and the hospital are working hard to put additional measures in place.

Please remember to spare a thought for the nurses who directly care for the patients and families on Critical Care and the dedicated wards in very difficult circumstances, frequently without appreciation, working long hours, skipping breaks and going the extra mile to ensure patients feel safe and well cared for. All while wearing cumbersome protective gear.

On Friday a friend of mine dropped off a huge box of doughnuts for the nurses on my unit that I took to work. They were so appreciated and within an hour were gone!.

Please note. It doesn’t matter how many ventilators we make, we need the skilled Critical Care nurses to operate them. Most doctors cannot operate a ventilator…Keep safe, wash your hands and remember- nurses are amazing.

 

Supporting our front line workers

 

A further update from Anthea – Senior Sister on Critical Care

The ongoing support that has overwhelmed me when I first made a request for biscuits has continued. @CriticalNhs (follow on Twitter)has been set up and run like a business – an efficient, well run, immediate response business started by Janneke & Niall who I am proud and honoured to call my friends. This has exploded.

I think you guys should run the NHS!

We needed biscuits and from that came delicious meals 3 times a day for my Critical Care team and other areas of the hospital. We have PPE top ups, fresh fruit & veg, spaghetti – scooped up fast by our Italian nurses, radios, chocolate, bespoke name badges, cake, hand cream, free parking at the hospital for staff, tablets for the patients to communicate with and one night fresh green leaves were delivered for one of our nurses rabbits.

The compassion shown by individuals has been outstanding. The clapping, the rainbows and for me – I appreciate every single email, text and message of support and the gifts & donations that end up on my doorstep!

I have been a nurse for 25 years. 23 of those in Critical Care and I thought I had seen everything.

Critical Care has changed over night. It’s like being in a sci fi movie – staff gowned up with visors, masks & head covers. Our usual capacity of ventilated beds has increased into wards, operating theatres & anaesthetic rooms. From 3 Critical Care units with a total of 30 beds, we now have 147 Critical Care beds in 7 areas. Highly trained nurses who usually care for one intensive care patient now have 3-4 patients, with helpers who are ward nurses and many have never before set foot on an intensive care unit- It’s a different environment- in a different world. This is before we escalate into Excel.

It’s tough. It’s hard, it’s claustrophobic in the gowns, masks & visors. Nurses are thirsty, enclosed in a room for 12 hours who’s only escape is to eat or visit the toilet. I saw one of my friends with blood on her scrubs as she had no time to change her tampon.

It’s raw and real and a halloumi wrap, pizza, curry or chocolate brownie is helping us through this tsunami.

I speak on behalf of nurses as I am one but we could not survive without doctors, porters, clerical staff, technicians, physios, dietitions, cleaners, lab staff, engineers, security and the fabulous volunteers who’s step count exceeds 20,000 steps a day. The NHS staff work tirelessly, abandoning their days off and giving all that they have.

We also have our usual Critical Care patients. Accidents, illness, cardiac arrests still happen and people still stab and harm each other despite the world being in crisis.

I have mopped up tears & cuddled nurses and passed chocolate around- limited social distancing in the hospital. Many of our nurses are from Europe or Ireland and miss their family. As part of my usual role is nurse recruitment, I get to know the nurses well and the younger ones call me “Mama Anthea”  I have become a temporary parent to some of our young nurses. I am also proud to have recruited my daughter Claudia as our new ward clerk until she can return to uni in Bristol.

It’s tough for us but tougher for the patients who have no visitors & are scared of this unknown & vicious virus.

Thank you for caring for us. We will keep on keeping on. The “keep calm and carry on” slogan from the 1940’s rings true.

Keep clapping, put rainbows in your window and stay at home.

My thanks on behalf of a truly fabulous group of people

NURSES!

If you want to help CriticalNhs who provide meals and many other items to support the staff at St Georges.

This is the link.

https://paypal.me/pools/campaign/113431121376689453

An update from Anthea:

 

To all my friends, friends of friends, neighbours and this community.
I have been overwhelmed and amazed by the incredible generosity shown to my colleagues and myself since I sent my first email. I had hoped to gain some biscuits and possibly a homemade cake to share with my colleagues.
BUT…I did not expect this response.
The support has been beyond incredible. I have so far received a total of 9 bin bags packed with biscuits, chocolate, cake, biscuits and cereal bars. My staff have been fed with pizza, curry, Mediterranean fare, homemade cookies, brownies, homemade bread, cheese, doughnuts and huge baskets of fresh fruit.
I have received cards, emails and messages of support.
Friends have given me a lift to work. Each day there is more. Last night I arrived home beyond exhausted and there was a tin of homemade chocolate brownies sitting on the doorstep – there was a card saying “thank you nurses” I have no idea who made them but thank you.
The local school have emailed me offering support and to arrange food deliveries of sandwiches.
The heart warming kindness of strangers and the warm spirit of local people and my very dear friends and those further afield has warmed my heart.
Local friends have set up a funding page which has raised over £7000 in 2 days.
I have no words to express my gratitude.
The staff of Critical Care who are working tirelessly have been kept afloat by this support. They no longer have to bring their meals to work. We have shared food with the wards who are also caring for Covid patients.
We are all trained and competent in strict infection control procedure and the “donning and doffing” of PPE (personal protective equipment)
We are trained to care for Covid patients who are strictly cohorted together being cared for by a team of Critical Care trained and experienced nurses, supported by ward nurses and student nurses. The team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals are working long hours with these patients and we also have our usual non Covid Critically ill patients.
The entire Trust are being incredible, Doctors, nurses, reception staff, ward clerks, porters, cleaners, security, nurse educators, technicians, lab workers, blood bank staff, pharmacists, dietitians and many others who help in keeping the big ship St Georges afloat.
I am proud to work for our NHS and please do not underestimate how much your kindness and generosity means to us all.
As one nurse said
“We are like the band in the Titanic film- we keep on playing while the ship goes down”
This ship will not sink and we will keep on keeping on.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Stay at home, wash your hands and be kind to each other.
Staff are working hard and are greatly affected emotionally by this crisis but I have seen much laughing and chatting among my colleagues while they are munching on pizza!
If you would like to contribute financially to a fund to help feed and support the nurses on Critical Care at St Georges my amazing friends have set up.

 

 

 

 

 

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