Senior BRI nurse pleads with people to obey lockdown rules

An INTENSIVE care nurse at Bradford Royal Infirmary has pleaded with the public to stick to lockdown rules as the number of patients being admitted to hospital rises.

Marianne Downey, a critical care matron revealed staff had been overwhelmed by gifts from the public – but the best gift of all would be for people to follow government guidance.

She said: “We’ve received lots of messages of thanks in intensive care. We are overwhelmed with gifts; very thoughtful gifts such as hand cream and lip balm. But we really just want people to follow the guidance. That’s the best gift you can give to any NHS worker now. Please just follow the guidance.”

She added that hospital staff were running two intensive care units – one for Covid-19 patients and the other for people who needed surgery or have suffered illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes.

“Patients are normally offered one-to-one care but nurses are currently looking after four ICU beds at once.

Stretched to the limit

“In 20 years working in the NHS, I have never seen an organisation stretched to the limit as we are now, and I have never seen patients as sick as this.

“Sometimes people find it difficult to accept that Covid-19 is real but when you’re in it, as we are as healthcare professionals every day, I can confidently tell everyone out there that it is extremely real.”

Marianne added that critical care staff are coping, but exhausted.

“My experience of critical care nurses is that they don’t cry on people’s shoulders, they go and find a quiet place to cry on their own. The vast majority of our nursing team have had sessions with psychologists. It’s a massive psychological drain for staff and nurses on critical care. They carry a burden of grief.

“Please just follow the lockdown rules, stay at home, protect yourselves and your loved ones – and protect the NHS.” 


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  1. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing hospital services for the people of Bradford and communities across Yorkshire. We serve a core population of around 500,000 and provide specialist services for 1.1 million people.

Our 5,500 staff work over several sites, including Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. We also manage local community hospitals at Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, and Eccleshill.

In early 2017, a new £28 million wing opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of a £75m investment to improve patient care across our hospitals over a five-year period. It provides world-class facilities for elderly care, children’s services, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit with increased single-room provision and a retail concourse.

The new wing is a continuation of our work to improve patient experience after our new £2 million neonatal unit officially opened in January 2015. Our maternity services were recently shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Midwifery Service of the Year Award, recognising excellence and innovation in the provision of maternity care.

In 2017, we also completed a £2m refurbishment of our Emergency Department (ED) as part of an ambitious vision to create a more efficient acute medicine service for the people of Bradford. It has been designed to provide a slicker and more efficient service, with faster senior clinical involvement at an early stage in the patient pathway.

As a teaching hospital, we are at the forefront of education and development in healthcare, and have an excellent reputation for research performance. We are one of the leading centres in conducting applied research in the country, particularly in quality and safety, elderly care and rehabilitation.

The Trust is home to the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) where researchers have led the development, validation and implementation of the award-winning Bradford Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) which helps calculate an elderly person’s risk of disability, impairment, falls and complications of chronic diseases, as well as their diminishing independence and capability. This is now being used by 98% of all GPs across the country.

Our award-winning Ophthalmology department is home to numerous worldwide clinical trials taking the lead in eye care research and we are one of only three sites in the United Kingdom to be enlisted in the Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Hip Fracture Care of Patients with Dementia (PERFECTED) study, which will investigate how the NHS can introduce better standards of care to improve outcomes for people with dementia.

The Trust has its own Bradford Hospitals Charity:

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