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Challenges of Covid-19 and opportunities from Digital North Mid

Clinical lead and head of physiotherapy (allied health professional AHP) Reshma Patel, started working at North Mid four years ago - since then she has been on a personal and professional journey of transformation.

She said: “When I started at North Mid our service was very paper heavy and our processes needed to be updated but it was a challenge that I really looked forward to taking on and turning around to improve and build a positive working environment and culture for the team and wider department.”

#DigitalNorthMid has played a major role in Reshma's work and her team through the introduction of software and processes to ensure the department and other services across the hospital work more efficiently, saving valuable time and helping improve outcomes for patients.

“This is not the only major change though for our service, the biggest one has come as a result of dealing with Covid. We have been through a major transition in the last few months moving to a seven-day service in respiratory and in orthopaedics in March this year. Although of course these have been and continue to be challenging times, in terms of patients it’s been much better for continuity of care and for staff.

“Last March was difficult as no one knew what would be heading our way and what was going to happen, now in our second wave response we are much better prepared and I am really thankful for that.”

Reshma’s team has been heavily involved in the care of Covid patients across the hospital, including ITU where proning has been a critical part of patient care - colleagues in physiotherapy have helped to care for Covid-19 patients, working to reduce pressure sores and doing work shift patterns from 8am – 8pm and from 8pm to 8am to provide cover around the clock.

“Whilst this has been intense and full-on, it has really developed me as a person and I’ve shown that I can handle certain situations. I think it has been an equally intense and challenge experience for my team too but I firmly believe that we have grown stronger and more resilient as a result.”

As to the future of North Mid Reshma hopes the Trust retains its unique identity. One of the biggest changes she’s been pleased to see is the new community services division and the 0-19 service linking back to North Mid and working together as one team and Reshma also values everything that the Trust has offered her.

“For me personally the learning and development opportunities I have had at North Mid have been second to none.  I have really been able to develop as a manager and leader and I am truly grateful for that. In addition, being a mother of two young children I really value the flexible working and hours I work, making it easier to fit around my childcare. I want to work here longer, in fact for as long as I can!”

(This article first appeared in the Centenary edition of True North magazine earlier this year).

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