The team responsible for tracking people and testing them for COVID-19 at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
NDHT’s COVID-19 testing team and contact tracing team has been shortlisted in the Team of the Year category of the Nursing Times Awards.
Lucy Bates, who nominated the team, said: “During my role as the interim deputy chief nurse I was heavily involved in establishing the COVID-19 testing team/contact tracing team. Since then the team has gone from strength to strength and have played a pivotal part in the Trust’s positive response to the pandemic, keeping our staff and patients safe.”
Lucy added: “This is a real achievement for our multi-professional clinical and non-clinical team that was pulled together in extremely challenging and unpredictable times, with secondments, redeployment opportunities, bring-back scheme, shielding staff, and NHSP staff.”
Joanne Hamilton, COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Healthcare Staff Testing Project Manager, said: It’s been a very exciting, challenging and fulfilling year and I feel so proud of what we have achieved.
“We’ve had to think on our feet, bend and flex with ever-changing guidance and respond quickly to the needs of the Trust and local community.
“Ensuring COVID-19 results are delivered to people at the quickest opportunity has been and continues to be a multidisciplinary team effort. The programme enables us to respond and react at pace, mitigating risk to our staff and patients. This couldn’t be achieved without the very talented and committed individuals involved in the process, who always go over and above to deliver.”
The winners will be announced at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London on Wednesday 27 October 2021.
About the team
The testing and contact tracing team was established in response to the COIVD-19 pandemic. The service was developed at pace and designed around keeping our workforce, communities and patients safe through rapid access to testing (pop up sites, mobile testing, booked appointments, self-testing, postal testing) and supportive contact tracing where positive cases or contacts were identified.
The diverse team was pulled together through a number of secondment opportunities as well as fully utilising members of the workforce who were shielding, professionals who came back though the national bring-back scheme, and temporary NHS Professionals staff, a real multi-professional, clinical and non-clinical team effort to drive this programme of work forward.
Since the service has been set up the team have worked innovatively on the front line and behind the scenes to transform the way we are testing, contract tracing and monitoring COVID-19 across NDHT in order to meet the demands of the pandemic, alongside supporting the needs of our services, keeping staff and patients safe. The rapid access to testing and contract tracing on site has enabled the whole team and Trust to be responsive and dynamic to the daily uncertainties and challenges COVID-19 brings.
The team of people who supported testing and contact tracing over the last 18 months past and present should be extremely proud of how they have adapted to the demand of the pandemic and new ways of working, learnt new skills, set up and transformed services, built a team ethos of shared visions and objectives and kept the safety and welfare of our workforce and patients at the heart of all they have done.