Appeal funds counsellor for NHS staff traumatised by treating Covid

Young female healthcare worker with a headache. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A counsellor is being employed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn to help staff suffering from post traumatic stress after caring for seriously-ill Covid patients - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A counsellor is being employed by a Norfolk hospital to help frontline staff cope with the stresses of dealing with Covid.

The post at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn is being funded by an appeal which has raised more than £70,000 for the hospital in less than three weeks.

Monica Vinader, Lady Leicester and Lucinda Fox were inspired by the care Ms Vinader and her husband Nick received while they were being treated for coronavirus in the QEH over Christmas.

"My husband, particularly, was very ill," she said. "My husband was critically-ill. He was on oxygen, he was on a lot of oxygen.

"What we witnessed was the incredible pressure the teams were under. They've had 12 months of this really difficult time when they've given above and beyond what was needed.

Monica Vinader at the Holkham studios. Picture submitted

Monica Vinader, who has launched an appeal to support frontline NHS staff after she was treated for Covid at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn - Credit: Submitted

"Seeing it first-hand made me realise fully how tough it is for our frontline staff, and how much these critical care teams deserve not only our thanks, but also our mutual help”.

Ms Vinader, who runs the Holkham-based Monica Vinader jewellery brand from her studios at Holkham in north Norfolk, has set a target of raising £100,000.

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"We really wanted this to be a way of saying thank you because I really feel the last 12 months they have gone above and beyond," she added. "We were so inspired by our care we wanted to give something back."

She added while the virus appears to be in retreat, staff were still suffering from the fall-out. The appeal brochure states "a significant minority" of nurses and doctors  will develop anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the death and trauma they see at work.

Mia Elston, sister on Tilney Ward at the QEH, said: "The impact of the pressure of the pandemic on the psychological wellbeing of the staff has been immense. The traumatic exposure to supporting severe and critically ill patients has certainly taken its toll."

Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn

Dealing with critically-ill Covid patents has placed "immense pressure" on staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital - Credit: QEH

The appeal also hopes to fund 25 vital signs monitors for the hospital. The £1,600 devices  measure oxygen levels, temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, and alert nurses if patients start to deteriorate.

Deputy medical director Dr Govindan Raghuraman said monitoring vital signs was "critical" in providing safe and high quality patient care.

The monitors will also play a vital role treating vulnerable patients post Covid.

Caroline Shaw, chief executive at the hospital, said: “We are enormously grateful to Monica for launching this appeal to support QEH. The vital signs monitors will make a hugely positive difference to outcomes for our patients, and further investing in the emotional wellness of our staff who have felt the impact of enormous pressure in response to Covid is now more vital than ever.”

To donate online, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/covid-recovery-fund. Cheques payable to Team QEH Covid Recovery Fund can be sent to: Finance Department, QEHKL, Gayton Road, King’s Lynn. PE30 4ET . Donations can also be made via BACS to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn Charitable Fund Sort code: 53-61-38, Acc 30462479 Ref: No.41021.