Oncology staff praised for supporting cancer patients and families throughout Covid-19

Communications TeamNews

Hospital staff caring for people with cancer have been thanked for their efforts to support patients and families throughout the pandemic.

Nursing, medical and support staff on Ward 31 at Castle Hill Hospital have continued their work to look after people undergoing treatment and living with cancer since the start of the pandemic last March.

Now, Deborah Leadley, Junior Sister on the oncology ward within the Queen’s Centre, has praised staff for supporting people dealing with serious illnesses during Covid-19.

She said: “I am so proud of the team. We work in a very difficult speciality and help patients every day who receive bad news and this, of course, impacts on everyone emotionally.

“The staff always have a smile and are ready to help everyone.”

Ward 31 has remained an oncology ward since the start of the first lockdown and throughout the pandemic as part of Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s commitment to protect cancer services despite the pressures caused by the pandemic.

However, staff on the ward had to adapt to new ways of working to support other wards and teams in the Queen’s Centre which were reassigned to look after people with the virus.

Ward staff worked with staff from other parts of the hospital as a multi-disciplinary team to ensure patients could go home and back to their families with appropriate support and treatment in place.

With relatives not able to come onto the ward because of the grave dangers of spreading the virus to people with already compromised immune systems, staff have been giving daily updates to families about their loved ones.

They also created a dedicated email address so relatives could contact their loved ones directly.

Deborah Leadley said: “All our staff have tried to ensure all patients are fully informed and that communication is smooth between all members of the multi-disciplinary team and this has helped with supporting the unit.

“Although Ward 31 was not a full Covid ward, our staff have had to adapt our ways of working to support the Covid ward next door.

“We’ve become more efficient with discharges through regular contact with our senior medical team to ensure the hospital had enough beds for those most in need and to help get people home and back with their loved ones as quickly as possible.”