During the Coronavirus crisis, helping the community and supporting vital NHS staff has never been more important. A group of local volunteers are running meals to CCU, A&E staff and paramedics 3 times a day as they weren’t able to access meals when at work at the hospital.
Working with local restaurants, food has been delivered to St Georges Hospital every day at lunchtime and dinnertime to feed front line staff. 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. We will also provide support for car parking fees and hotel rooms for those staff who would not otherwise be in a position to work.
Yesterday the team delivered 60 portions 3 times a day with an extra wrap run from a Brixton Kitchen that was closing down and offered it to us for free!
Nurse Anthea’s plea 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!If you would like to do something for the nurses at your local hospital. Please feel free to drop off a box of biscuits or something the staff can snack on. Drop something off at St Georges or at your local hospital marked for the nurses.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.
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.
Photo: Tyler Olson / shutterstock.com