The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) team at Southport hospital has won a prestigious national award from Nursing Times, thanks to the innovative ways team members worked during the first peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Visiting this unit, which cares for the most seriously sick patients, has been challenging since March. This has been extremely difficult and upsetting for patients and families, and this inspired frustrated staff to find innovative solutions.
One of their ideas was to create a short video of the unit, so that families could more easily visualise the situation their loved ones were in.
Matron for ICU Angie Westwood explains: “I am immensely proud of the team and all the work they’ve put in during these circumstances that none of us could ever have predicted. Their capacity to continually go the extra mile for patients is humbling. This is a very difficult time for patients, their families and friends. This is hugely important to us. Our culture is to constantly look at ways of improving. I am beyond happy. We may be a small Trust be we are mighty.”
ICU Educator and Nurse Mel Pinnington continues: “In more normal times, we pride ourselves on holding the hands, literally and emotionally, of our patients’ families during their stay here. The environment is very different to other areas of the hospital and this can be frightening, but we know how to support people through this. When visiting had to stop, we had to think and act quickly to find new ways to support people.
“We created this video so that families could at least picture where their loved ones were being treated. We also made sure daily video calls happened, we updated families over the phone three times a day, and brought in extra measures for palliative patients. This included bereavement boxes which we hand-delivered to families, including a card written by the staff member who stayed with their loved one until they sadly died.
Chief executive Trish Armstrong Child adds: “I am immensely proud of every single person who has worked in our Trust through these challenging times. All staff have been affected by the pandemic, and our intensive care team have set a fantastic example, working in very tough conditions – both emotionally and physically.
“I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to each one of them, all our staff deserve an award, so I am delighted this amazing team has been recognised with such a prestigious accolade.”