Behind the doctors and nurses on the frontline fighting COVID-19 is a team that has been working tirelessly to ensure that crucial staff are in place to care for patients across all wards of the busy Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.
Helping to keep the machine running smoothly while the NHS is dealing with immense extra pressures is the team of nine people in the hospital’s HR Business Partners department.
Laura Thomas, Assistant HR Business Partner at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said: “We’ve seen big changes over recent weeks to the work that we do. Our focus has been to get the right people to the right place to ensure the hospital has all the staff it needs in the fight against COVID-19”.
So far, QEH has had around 400 applications from people wanting to help with the response to COVID-19, including 25 Registered Nurses/Midwives and 86 Healthcare Assistants. They have also received applications for an extra 64 domestic staff.
“We’ve been contacting recently retired colleagues and part time staff who have the expertise needed to support the front-line work on the wards. We’ve been redeploying staff as needed to keep key departments up and running, as well as protecting our more vulnerable staff members. We’ve also been very grateful for the response to a call for local people with specific skills to help ease any pressures we’re feeling in this very demanding time.”
“In my four years at the Trust I’ve certainly not seen anything like the task that coronavirus has brought us, but everyone pulling together has meant that we’ve been able to keep meeting the challenges that we face every day.”
In addition to the work to maintain necessary staffing levels, the team have also swiftly set up a staff helpline so they can continue to provide HR support while following social distancing rules. Laura said: “While it’s not business as usual at the moment colleagues can still come to us with any questions they have. Every day we’re looking at the latest Government guidance to ensure we can give everyone the most up to date advice possible.”
Pictured: Laura Thomas
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