St John and St Elizabeth Hospital’s 2020 – a year in review by CEO Caroline Fox
21st December 2020
To say it has been a tough year would be an understatement. We are currently fighting through the worst crisis to hit the UK since the Second World War. But in the face of adversity, I’m incredibly proud of our staff across both the Hospital and Hospice, who have worked tirelessly and selflessly in these difficult times.
Year of the Nurse
The World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse which, in light of the COVID-19 crisis this year, couldn’t be more apt.
Our team of nurses and allied healthcare professionals do an astonishing job, with their expertise, compassion and commitment, they are the beating heart of both the Hospital and Hospice.
You can read an interview with Chief Nursing Officer, Andrew Gallini, where he explains why our nursing team is so special here.
Supporting the NHS through COVID-19
Though we are an independent charitable organisation, St John and St Elizabeth Hospital has been working hard alongside the NHS throughout the pandemic.
In March we announced we were making beds, facilities and healthcare staff available to treat patients in a major partnership agreed with NHS England.
We are proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with the NHS, supporting them in this time of need. Read more about our partnership here.
Volunteering at the Nightingale Hospital London
Several healthcare professionals at St John and St Elizabeth Hospital volunteered at the Nightingale Hospital in London that was set up in response to the pandemic. It was humbling and heart-warming to see many selfless members of our team prepared to go above and beyond at this time.
You can read about the experiences of Diagnostic Radiographer, CK, and Breast Care Nurse, Aimee at the Nightingale here.
Outpatient Unit open through national lockdown
While, like most hospitals, elective services were put on hold to facilitate the needs of the pandemic, I’m incredibly proud to say we kept our Outpatient and diagnostic services open to continue the support of our local community and ensure that patients were able to access care. I would like to thank everybody who made this possible.
World Patient Safety Day
In 2019, the World Health Organization established World Patient Safety Day to be marked annually on 17th September. In light of the pandemic, the aim of this year’s World Patient Safety Day was to highlight the importance of health worker safety in respect of patient safety.
We have been working closely with our Infection Prevention and Control Team and expert Consultant Microbiologists, who work alongside Public Health England, to ensure our Hospital is as safe as possible.
From strict social distancing measures to wearing additional PPE, regular COVID-19 tests for staff to increased hand sanitising and hygiene stations, we’ve implemented a range of measures to mitigate the spread of the virus and help us keep a business as usual approach through these unsettling times..
I’m also pleased to say Bupa has recognised our Hospital as a COVID-19 green zone, complying with the UK guidance on COVID-19 infection control standards and other patient safety standards.
You can read more here.
Hospice Inpatient Unit refurbishment – the grand opening
A key project of 2020 was to update our 17-bedroom Inpatient Unit at the Hospice with a complete refurbishment. Work started in March, one day before the first national lockdown. But despite this setback we are happy to say that the work was successfully completed in October.
As well updating the patient bedrooms, bringing more natural light in, making our facilities more accessible, and giving the whole Hospice a more modern yet homely feel, our beautiful Hospice garden has been made the focal point. The new communal area now faces the garden so that patients can enjoy the outside view even when the weather is poor.
Find out from our Senior Staff Nurse, Trish, how the refurb has transformed the Hospice here.
It has certainly been a tough year but we are proud of these achievements and how we have worked tirelessly to ensure the delivery of exemplary levels of care to our patients, despite these challenges. Our Hospital continues to be a safe place to visit and this work has enabled us to abide by our motto of Putting People First.
Now that the roll out of the COVID vaccine has begun there’s reason to be hopeful that next year will be much brighter than 2020. From everyone at St John and St Elizabeth Hospital, we wish you all the very best for the New Year.