Anaesthetics Theatres and Intensive Care Services -Flexibility and resilience in providing critical care

15th June 2020

Whilst the intensive care team has worked tirelessly treating the sickest patients with Covid-19, their colleagues across anaesthetics and theatres have also whole heartedly embraced the huge changes put in place in response to the pandemic.

Acknowledgement must be given to all of those nurses who moved out of their usual roles in day surgery and preoperative assessment at Daisy Hill and South Tyrone, and recovery at Craigavon,   and completed additional training to increase our critical care capacity.

As well as caring for their patients, the intensive care team made time to train these colleagues from across the division and other areas who came back to support  them.

Main theatres at both Daisy Hill and Craigavon provided emergency surgical support across all services whilst in addition to this, Daisy Hill have been operating a bookable urgent list and the Craigavon team have managed their continued trauma sessions along with offering a Covid outreach response.

Nurses from our outpatients departments have been redeployed to other services including intensive care, main wards and the donning and doffing areas.

Services at both acute hospitals have totally transformed:

At Craigavon, the elective day ward moved to the orthopaedic ward before temporarily ceasing. During this time, the team worked in the donning and doffing area before returning to their normal base on 20 May. Ward 3 South became a Covid receiving ward where our orthopaedic nurses moved to look after those patients and 4 South moved to the elective day ward which then merged with 4 North.

At Daisy Hill, the High Dependency Unit moved to the sixth floor, the male surgical ward became and elective ward, whilst female surgical ward adapted to receive all emergency transfers from Craigavon.

In addition to all of this, nursing teams have changed their shift patterns which we recognise has a significant impact on their personal circumstances and of course their daily routine now involves the full donning and doffing PPE procedures, which whilst absolutely necessary, we appreciate  brings their own challenges!