Glyndŵr lecturer leading team of healthcare professionals during Covid-19 pandemic

A Glyndwr lecturer is leading a team of healthcare professionals as they help hospital patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lauren Porter is the  acute team lead for occupational therapy at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan. Lauren – who combines her hospital duties with a secondment to Wrexham Glyndŵr University – was full of praise for the way her staff have coped with the unprecedented pressures of the Co-vid 19 outbreak.

She said: “They’ve been amazing. They are a group of incredibly adaptive and resilient people. We’ve started working 12 hour shifts, seven days a week so they are now working from 8am to 8pm.

“They’ve taken that in their stride and when we asked if they were prepared to go on shifts, everybody in the team said yes.

“That’s absolutely amazing – it’s just showing their dedication and willingness to do whatever is needed.”

The team continues its vital work of providing the best possible standard of rehabilitation for patients while they’re in the hospital, and helping them to leave hospital and return home as soon as they can.  

She said: “At a basic level our core work hasn’t changed in that we’re delivering an occupational therapy service to people in hospital – and that might be people who are presenting with Co-vid or with other conditions that people require hospital care for.

“But obviously the differences at the moment are that staff have to wear PPE when they’re doing that, which can make communication more difficult.  We’re also having to work around new processes for discharge in terms of access to support services  when people are ready to leave hospital; whether they’re Co-vid positive or negative.  On a couple of occasions our team have completed twice daily visits to discharged patients to provide support whilst awaiting other services to commence.”

“I think that’s the challenge, certainly as acute team lead, is to digest new guidance and information, disseminate that to staff and to try to facilitate them to keep doing their jobs every day.”

Lauren, who is from Australia originally but has lived in Wales since 2005, highlighted the efforts of the team to provide discharge packs with essential items. More than £1,000 was raised for the project, which was devised by team member Alana Macpherson, with Tesco in Prestatyn also donating items for the packs.

The team has also put together an isolation pack with useful information as well as activities to keep people occupied during the lockdown.
 “They’re things that we can do for people going home from hospital to help them transition more smoothly which is more important than ever right now,” Lauren added.