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Date: 30 July 2021

Time: 20:33

Image: Former COVID-19 patient Erwin

Critical Care team win national award for care and compassion

Story posted/last updated: 08 July 2021

A team of medical students, their consultants and nursing colleagues are delighted after they were announced as the NHS Parliamentary Awards national winner in the Care and Compassion category on Wednesday 7 July.  

The Critical Care Family Liaison team worked across our three Critical Care units at Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. They were the first point of contact for worried relatives, providing invaluable support and calling them daily with an update on the condition of their loved ones, passing on messages to patients and medical teams.

Emily Taylor, one of the medical students involved in setting up the team, collected the award at a ceremony opened by the Prime Minister at One Great George Street, Westminster. The team were among nine other winners announced during the ceremony.

Emily said: “My experience in the Critical Care Family Liaison team has been so valuable in my medical training. While it was emotionally hard, I learned a lot about communication and sensitively breaking bad news to our families. The conversations that we had were difficult, but I am really proud to have been involved in setting this up. I am sure that this experience will make me a better doctor when I qualify.”

Jess Phillips MP, who nominated the team, said: “During the first wave of coronavirus the work of this team keeping families connected with patients was vital while visits were restricted. Under intense pressure and considerable stress, the team have worked so hard for our people. I am so proud of them and delighted to see them honoured in such a way.”

Erwin was a patient with COVID-19 on critical care during April/May last year, and him and his wife, Maritas, found the Critical Care Family Liaison team a great comfort during his stay. He said: “I was very poorly and barely remember anything from my time on critical care. However, they called and spoke to my wife every day, to update her on my progress, which was reassuring for her.”

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