Our amazing Infectious Diseases team are building a reputation for excellence both inside and outside the Trust.

Hard-working staff are celebrating after receiving three financial donations from the grateful families of patients, plus a clutch of award nominations in recent months.

Donations of £1,000, £850 and £205 had been handed over to the team recently, amounting to more than £2,000, allowing staff to plan improvements to their facilities.

Staff have been recognised further afield too. Earlier this year the ward was shortlisted for the Student Nursing Times Awards’ Nursing Placement of the Year award, and Staff Nurse Peter Hanley nominated for the University of Bradford’s Mentor of the Year prize.

Not to be outdone, ward 7 healthcare assistant Angelika Kowalowska and the entire ward have been nominated for our own Employee and Team of the Month awards too.

So what’s their secret?

“It’s the team – they are amazing,” said Senior Sister Caroline Carass. “They have got the highest of standards for patients and each other.

“They all look after each other, which makes a massive difference. Lots of our staff are working parents and we are really flexible in terms of shifts.

“The staff we have got never let each other down. We have got a ward WhatsApp group and it’s really common for people to swap shifts if they need to.

“Leadership is not about being a band 7 – it’s about working as a team. When they are flying in formation, geese honk from behind to let the leader know where to go! I’m happy to let the team lead for me too.”

Caroline added the recent donations would allow staff to make improvements to their family room: “We are planning to buy an ice machine with some of the donated money, and we’d also like to make the room much nicer with a sofa, table, flasks for hot water, cups and pictures on the walls.

Ward 7 - Infectious Diseases

“We want to make it a real home-from-home so that when families are here they have got somewhere warm and friendly to be. The team have got a really strong work ethic when it comes to families too, and we want to provide the best possible facilities for them.”

Ward 7 staff also make a significant contribution to the wider Trust community. Every Tuesday the ID team deliver a half-day medical seminar to final-year medical students covering a range of core infection topics, and at the next Grand Round on November 29, they are set to speak about the support they receive from the Chaplaincy team.

“When we have had some really traumatic times, the chaplains will have a little word in our ear and give us a safe space to work,” added Caroline. To have people who appreciate that we are not robots but human is very special.”

Ward 7 is a 12-bed unit staffed by Caroline and her team of 22 nurses, healthcare assistants and support staff, plus four clinicians who specialise in infectious diseases and microbiology. Together, they regularly treat patients with TB, HIV, malaria, drug problems and diarrhoea and vomiting.

Congratulations to them all!