Theatre team share new role helping colleagues care for Covid-19 patients

Mick Ferris
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As routine surgeries are postponed due to the coronairus pandemic, three colleagues in theatres at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust have found a new role in intensive care.

Operating department practitioners (ODPs) Simon Peck and John Leaver, and operating department orderly Lawrie Turner have been helping colleagues in intensive care with ‘proning’ Covid-19 patients, which means turning them onto their front to assist their breathing.

They’ve also been called upon to help train colleagues in the procedure.

Simon, also a practice education facilitator so is used to training others, said: “We’re proning patients daily in theatres, for things such as spinal surgeries, so we’re well-versed at it and it seemed natural for us to do it.”

John, who has worked at the Trust since 1989, added: “As routine surgeries have been postponed while we deal with this, it meant we weren’t as busy as we usually would be. So it feels better to be able to go and do this. We’re doing what we normally do, but a little bit differently.

“It’s really nice to be able to work with other teams. We’re working in ITU daily and it’s remarkably calm with everyone working together. We also get to see the strengths of other colleagues too, like how much our physios are doing for our patients.”

Mick Ferris

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