Ludlow Ward, which is usually the dedicated private patient ward at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), is the first team to win the Health Hero Award in its history – it is usually presented to individuals.
The team, who are also the 50th winners of the monthly award, were nominated by Dr Shu Ho, consultant physician and clinical chairman, who said: “The whole ward have provided excellent patient care in an unfamiliar and very difficult time when it became the Covid-19 isolation ward back in March.
“There was a lot of uncertainty about PPE and the infection itself at the beginning, and it was a frightening time to look after covid patients.
“The team handled end-of-life care situations extremely well and consistently ensured relatives were well-supported.”
The ward was quickly turned into the hospital’s covid ward at the beginning of the pandemic due to its individual side rooms with en suite facilities, which make it easier to safely isolate patients.
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In more recent times, it has also cared for orthopaedic trauma patients. RJAH took on the trauma service for Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin back in March, helping The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) to free up capacity to care for more seriously ill covid patients.
The team is led by ward manager Helen Cooper, who said: “The past six months have been a really difficult journey for Ludlow Ward – the team have gone from caring for private patients to those with suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 and then to trauma patients.
“The most difficult aspect has been end-of-life-care – we became part of the family to those patients and their relatives.
“I couldn’t have asked any more of the team. They have all pulled together and worked really hard – I’m a very proud ward manager.
“I’d like to thank Dr Ho for his nomination, he has been so supportive throughout our journey and I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for us. I also have to thank the rest of the trust, with honourable mentions to the infection prevention and control team and the pain team, who went above and beyond to support us throughout.”
The team were presented their award by Stacey Keegan, acting chief executive at the Oswestry-based hospital.
Stacey said: “The Ludlow Ward team have been faced with so many challenges since March, and they have worked extremely hard to overcome these and provide truly world class care for patients.
“I am delighted to announce them as the Health Hero Award winners for August. They are the first team to win the award since it began back in 2016 – a real testament to their perseverance and their commitment to their patients.”