Four members of the theatres department at Prince Charles Hospital have been honoured for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic with a special award.
The team received their award from the High Sheriff of Mid Glamorgan, Mr Jeffrey Edwards MBE OStJ DL JP, last week.
The award recognises the four staff members as having gone above and beyond for their patient and their colleagues, and Cwm Taf Morgannwg couldn’t be prouder of them.
Please read on for information on exactly why these wonderful people have been given these awards.
Unfortunately Gary Jones could not be there to accept his award in person as he was isolating at the time. A separate presentation is being arranged for him, and as soon as he gets his award we’ll update this article with a photo of the presentation.
Douglas Furber (Theatre Assistant)
Doug is a theatre assistant at Prince Charles Hospital and has worked on the frontline of the NHS throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, including working within the initial COVID Intensive Care Unit based in the hospital’s Day Surgery Unit. In addition to his core duties, Doug took on the additional responsibility of being a ‘fit tester’ for PPE facemasks. He has been responsible for ensuring that hundreds of doctors, nurses, ODPs, other healthcare professionals and students working within theatres and COVID Intensive Care were appropriately ‘fit tested’ for the correct type of facemask compatible with the shape of their face. This work was essential in ensuring that frontline healthcare professionals remained safe from the virus and Doug often worked through breaks and stayed beyond his shift finish times to ensure that all staff received this lifesaving PPE.
The amount of knowledge required of the various types and specifications of PPE, as well as safe testing procedures, and the commitment required to perform this role far surpasses the typical expectations of a theatre assistant. However, Doug has gone above and beyond in this role and cannot be praised enough for all his efforts in keeper the wider team safe.
Gary Jones (Operating Department Practitioner)
Gary is an Anaesthetic Operating Department Practitioner at Prince Charles Hospital and has worked on the frontline of the NHS throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, including working in the initial COVID Intensive Care Unit based in the hospital’s Day Surgery Unit.
In addition to this, Gary has volunteered his own time over a number of years to organise an annual Theatre Team sponsored walk of the South Wales Three Peaks to raise money for local charities and good causes. Despite the professional and personal challenges Gary has had to face over the past 18 months, which would have put many people off undertaking this work, Gary has only been inspired further in his mission to give back to the community and this year he managed to expand the team to include both Theatre and Intensive Care staff, in recognition of how both teams worked closely together in responding to the emergency situation that quickly unfolded at the start of the pandemic. Recognising that the pandemic had also left its mark on the community in terms of an increasing need for mental health support, so far Gary and the team have raised over £4,000 for Cwm Taf Morgannwg Mind. You can find the link to Gary’s fundraising here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gary-jones61
Sophie Roberts (Operating Department Practitioner)
Sophie is an Anaesthetic Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) at Prince Charles Hospital and has worked on the frontline of the NHS throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, including working within the initial COVID Intensive Care Unit based in the Day Surgery Unit.
In addition to her essential core role, which sometimes saw her working in excess of 60 hours per week at the height of the pandemic, Sophie has volunteered much of her precious downtime helping to look after the wellbeing of her colleagues on the frontline as the department’s wellbeing champion. If this gruelling frontline commitment wasn’t enough, she then goes shopping after work to ensure COVID ITU staff can readily access snacks and drinks, toiletries, and the little home comforts, like hand and face creams, which has made a real difference. She even created a gym with equipment from the physiotherapy department and transformed a staff rest area with a positivity wall full of rainbow pictures and cards from children within the community. She has been a real rock and source of support to all COVID ITU staff from doctors and nurses to cleaners and support staff. She works tirelessly to respond to every staff member who contacts her and she has sent kindness cards to colleagues who are shielding at home and have not been able to work. She also took it upon herself to coordinate the many donations to the COVID ITU from numerous community fundraising efforts. This includes providing phones and tablets to allow families to see, and talk to, their loved ones, as well as providing TVs for patients who wake from their coma but still require ventilator support to breathe. She also wrote numerous letters to thank everyone who has donated to the unit. She is an inspirational individual who has done so much to help and support all those affected by COVID-19 including colleagues, patients and their families. Her kindness knows no bounds and she is always putting the wellbeing of others before herself. She has been a guiding light through the recent darkness.
Tracy Scorey (Sister, Recovery)
Tracey is the Recovery Sister at Prince Charles Hospital and has worked on the frontline of the NHS throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, including working within the initial COVID Intensive Care Unit based in the Day Surgery Unit. Tracey was an essential cog in the machine, overseeing the delivery of essential PPE equipment to theatres and COVID ITU as the initial emergency of the pandemic was unfolding, ensuring that adequate stocks were maintained in her “End of the World Cupboard”.
In addition to this, when the vaccine breakthrough came, Tracy took on the role as lead for the Staff Vaccination Team for Merthyr & Cynon hospital sites. Tracy has worked tirelessly to ensure that all NHS staff within Merthyr & Cynon received their vaccinations as soon as possible and she would often be seen late into the evenings and at weekends wandering the various departments and wards to find anyone who hadn’t been given the opportunity for a vaccine. She has dedicated much of her time researching the vaccines in order to answer most questions from members of staff and often works beyond the end of her shift to ensure the speedy rollout of vaccines.
She has done this in addition to her core role at the lead for Theatre Recovery Unit within PCH, where she has continued to lead her staff from the front, as well as looking after the wellbeing of her colleagues currently shielding or having to self-isolate. She really is a kind and compassionate
leader who is committed to the wellbeing of her colleagues whilst also striving for the best care for her patients. Throughout the pandemic, she has gone above and beyond in order to achieve this.
Well done to all of our deserving recipients – thank you for representing Cwm Taf Morgannwg #AtOurBest!