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Nurse returns to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in hour of need

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Pauleen Pratt has answered the call for retired nursing staff to return to the profession to help support the NHS deal with the Covid-19.

A member of Freebridge Community Housing’s board, she spoke about what it has been like returning to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn.

She said: “I’ve been a nurse all my life, including some time at the QE with my most recent role being chief nurse at United Lincolnshire Hospital, and my partner is a doctor at the QE.

Pauleen Pratt, Freebridge Community Housing board member and now a nurse again
Pauleen Pratt, Freebridge Community Housing board member and now a nurse again

“I had been following the news about coronavirus when it started in China. Once it spread across the world to Italy I realised it would be in the UK soon, it was just a matter of time. While I haven’t been a bedside nurse in about 15 years I do have lots of other nursing leadership skills and when I offered my help to the QE they invited me back.

“In my new role I work around four days a week, helping process staff who have applied for caring roles, helping to set up clinical teams to ensure staff wear their PPE correctly and reviewing staffing levels to ensure the areas with the highest need are well supported.

“I have also offered support to staff who are struggling with the challenge that this pandemic brings. And although the hospital is very busy staff are pulling together.

“The work I’m doing allows other nurses to deliver direct care to patients, so hopefully I am making a difference.

“It has been a bit like ‘going home’ at the QE – there are so many familiar faces and everyone is committed to do the very best we can for our local community.

“Working with Freebridge as a board member has meant I also have a role in ensuring we support tenants across West Norfolk.

“I have been proud of the way the organisation has adapted to ensure our tenants are supported, not just with their health and welfare but the with their financial concerns too.

“Community support has been exceptional, we are so grateful to everyone who is supporting the NHS in such a busy and difficult time. Staying at home is saving lives and will continue to do so.

“So, thank you for following the advice. It’s important to remember that the hospital is still open for emergencies so if you do need to visit please do.

“And finally, a big thank you to our tenants who work as key workers keeping the system going.

“Every one of you is making a difference.”

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