BHRUT nurse uses Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to help patients get to know their healthcare workers better.

During this pandemic, it’s been more important than ever to take note of the positives, such as how Marie Hillyard, a practice development nurse at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, has used it as an opportunity for people to get to know members of the Emergency Department (ED) team better.

As part of the ED team, Marie was passionate for everyone across theTrust, and outside of it, including patients and visitors, to know what a fantastic team they are, but she’d not yet found the right opportunity to showcase them.

Then, with everyone wearing PPE during the Covid-19 pandemic, Marie hit on the idea for the #FaceBehindTheMask. Using the hashtag on Twitter, Marie has been posting pictures of her mask-free colleagues, with some interesting facts about them, so we can all get to know them better. 

To get her started, Trust consultant, and social media buff, Neel Reddy helped her come up with the name, she found her first willing participant, posting Claudia Askari, a paediatric ED staff nurse, on 2 June, and the rest is history!

Marie said: “Claudia was really sweet to be the first to take part as we weren’t sure how it would go. It’s ten times easier to get people involved now I can show them examples so they know what it’s about.

“I really like taking pictures, I think I’m getting better with practice too. The best thing about doing it is that I get to find out things about my colleagues. It started off with them telling me something about their job, and it’s evolved into people sharing interesting facts about themselves. I enjoy it so much and really look forward to doing it.”

From the outset Marie, who recently had to postpone her wedding to Peter Adams, a clinical operational site manager at the Trust, due to Covid-19, was keen to ensure she included colleagues from both Queen’s and King George hospitals. As #FaceBehindTheMask continues to grow, she’s now branching out to include colleagues from other departments.

Marie takes the pictures outside of our hospitals so her colleagues can safely remove their masks. Follow #FaceBehindTheMask, or check out @mrhllyrd on Twitter, to see who she features next! 

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