How some NHS staff are adapting to Covid's immense impact

ITV News Health Editor Emily Morgan and her team are visiting three different hospitals over three days to focus on the three major issues facing the NHS: staffing shortages, bed capacity and demand.

With the health service declaring itself on a "war footing" as it battles with winter pressures and rising Covid cases amid the Omicron wave, Health Producer Alex Cherrie spoke to some of those who have gone out of their way to adapt to and support the fight against Covid and its impact on the NHS.

Jamie Temlett, Head of Unplanned Care and Deputy Head of Nursing

Jamie Temlett, Head of Unplanned Care and Emergency Medical Unit Matron.

Jamie is Head of Unplanned Care and Deputy Head of Nursing and two weeks ago helped create a new medical overflow ward at the hospital in response to bed demands from Covid and non-Covid patients.

The ward was created in less than 12 hours and he describes how it is a constant juggling act to staff the new area.

"We have less staff, we are just like any other service in the country affected by COVID and PCR testing," he said.

"We are very depleted; we often go to staffing meetings and have no staff for a particular area, but we always make it work. Everyone has pulled together." Lindsey Vickers, clinical educator

Lindsey Vickers, a clinical educator.

Lindsey is a trained nurse, but a clinical educator by day.

Instead of teaching students, she is now treating patients on the new overflow medical ward, which was created two weeks ago to increase bed capacity in the hospital.

The extra beds have meant additional staff are needed, but with shortages across the hospital, it has had to pull workforce in from elsewhere.

"I normally work in education, supporting medical students," she said. I have come down to support the wards. I volunteered to come down and help.

"Rather than seeing patients struggling having no one to look after them, I’d rather be here, supporting them, making sure everybody is safe."

Claire Conneely, Matron Surgical Assessment Unit

Claire is Matron of a Surgical Assessment Unit, which looks after patients who need surgery.

The hospital has had to pause elective surgeries while it deals with the current demand, and so Claire and her team are dealing with emergency patients.

"Covid has hit us really badly, staff sickness is horrendous, but my team are all working really hard and pulling together," she said.

"A couple of weeks ago there were so many people off sick, but they are trickling back in now."

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