Eddie A day in the life….. M

EET DANIELLA. Everyone calls her Danny and she is

a matron in a sizeable NHS hospital. Danny and the legions of her workmates have been diligently looking after us during this ghastly coronavirus pandemic. We owe them immense gratitude for their great courage and dedication. I spoke to Danny to find out a little of the challenges that she and her team confront on an everyday basis.

Sunday 6.30.a.m. It is also a sublimely lovely day. There is not a cloud in

the sky. It is just the sort of Sunday that is made for a late breakfast, a pub lunch and an afternoon in a garden chair doing absolutely nothing. However, none of this is for me today. I am a matron in the NHS and there is a job to be done. These days there is no chance of any meaningful rest and certainly no time left between running a home and a career in the hospital. COVID-19 meant a re-organisation our shift rotas. This

is bad enough for me, with no children and just a husband to care for, but there are nurses here with kids off school and husbands also out at work. They struggle to hold it all together. The same applies from top to bottom of the hospital staff. Surgeons, consultants, sisters, nurses, receptionists, cleaners, porters are all faced with similar huge challenges. I know this pandemic has been extraordinarily difficult

for the government and I am convinced that they are doing their utmost to steer us through an unbelievably difficult time. I can only speak for myself, and our hospital, but we have managed to maintain our levels of service despite the numerous alarms raised by the media. I admit to being somewhat forceful in my approach, but I have ensured that we have had sufficient PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and personnel to cope. When you consider that gloves and masks are only used for limited periods of time, maintaining stocks for the whole country is a


mammoth task. Using PPE is itself demanding. This equipment has a

limited life and must be replaced at the end of each intense working period. We need double the nursing staff as we work for 3 hours without any breaks at all, not even for a visit to the loo. We began preparing as early as December and January

last year. We were well prepared; in fact we were ready for a deluge of cases. There is also plenty of ongoing training in anticipation of practically any circumstance. We have a daily “war office” meeting of all

management staff because new information is arriving constantly. This can mean rapid alterations to our strategies and it is vital that we remain ready to adapt accordingly. I can honestly say that I am amazed at how the team

have coped with this situation. Frankly, we are all terrified of COVID-19, but we are also aware that our role in the battle against it is vital. I woke last week with a sore throat. As you can imagine this frightened me. I made sure that I had planned for every outcome, even including my funeral. As it happened, I did not have the virus, but this reflects just how near to the wretched thing we all are. I must say I was relieved when the symptoms subsided naturally! There were one or two in the team who have found this

to be a challenge too far, but I suppose that is human nature and their position must be respected. All I know is that the rest of us have shown unbelievable loyalty and sensitivity. I have witnessed countless acts of generosity and

kindness that have made me proud to be part of a fantastic army fighting what feels like a very modern war against an invisible enemy.

Eddie Peacock has worked in the mobility industry for “rather a long time”. He enjoyed a challenging career having started by selling wheelchairs, scooters and stairlifts for Sunrise Medical, eventually working his way to the position of UK sales manager. After a period as a self-employed consultant he was invited to manage, now Handicare Ltd,

Ability Needs Magazine

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