Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, visited King George Hospital, run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust today (Friday 13 November). It was the first time she’d undertaken a virtual visit, using technology to see the wards, and even congratulate three nurses she’d recognised with silver Chief Nursing Officer awards.
Among those receiving the award was Kalvinder Jandu, senior sister on the Trust’s gynaecology ward. She was praised for leading her team through immense change during the pandemic, all while acting up as the matron. The ward was changed to a medical ward, meaning Kal and her team were faced with very different challenges, while caring for male and female patients.
She was nominated for the award by the Trust’s Director of Midwifery, Sue Lovell, who said: “Kal has supported staff who were not as familiar with the patient’s medical requirements, while ensuring appropriately skilled staff were always available.
“She’s been an advocate for her staff, going over and above her role by continuing to provide support even when not on duty. She was also faced with making difficult decisions, which she never shied away from.”
Also receiving the award were; James Avery, Director of Nursing and Chief Nursing Information Officer, who set up a multidisciplinary workforce hub which helped manage the workforce during the pandemic, particularly with high staff absence levels; and Michele Elliot, Director of Nursing for Anaesthetics and Surgery, who oversaw critical care, including increasing beds in large numbers during the first wave of Covid-19.
During her visit, Ruth also heard more about the Trust’s Covid-secure green zone, which allows planned operations to be performed safely, and found out about how staff wellbeing was being supported.
Kathryn Halford, Chief Nurse and deputy Chief Executive, said: “She was really interested in how we’re supporting our staff wellbeing during this time, as well as what changes we’ve made while dealing with the pandemic, and how these have affected our teams.
“The visit went really well and I was glad Ruth enjoyed it, particularly as it was the first time she’d held a full virtual visit to a hospital!”