Hospital hero in coronavirus front line hails ‘heartwarming’ support from community
PUBLISHED: 08:30 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:30 26 March 2020
Hospital cleaner Leanne Manning is in the front line of the war on coronavirus.
She said support from the community was helping her and colleagues at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, as they stepped up the fight against the pandemic.
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So far 12 people have tested positive for the virus at the 500-bed QEH. One patient has been discharged after recovering, nine remain in intensive care and two who were suffering from underlying health conditions have died.
Cleaning teams have always played a vital role in keeping hospitals free from infection and ensuring the safety of patients, their families and staff. But their work has never been more important.
Ms Manning, 40, has worked in wards with patients who have tested positive for the virus, where she is responsible for ensuring that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.
For these duties, she has to wear more protective equipment and double checks her work to ensure that she has cleaned as well as she can.
“Of course, it is a worry when you are with a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19, but you could become infected when you visit the supermarket because you don’t know whether another person has the virus,” she said.
She said the camaraderie among the facilities team was really strong and the support of the public was also helping the team and all the staff at QEH to pull through, particularly after a huge response to help NHS staff who could not get to supermarkets before shelves were emptied.
“People have been bringing in cakes, sandwiches, potatoes and other fruit and vegetables for us to keep us going. It is heartwarming to think that the community is thinking of us.”
Head of facilities Angela Hircock, 58, said she had taken on more responsibilities in managing staff including providing more mental health support for staff experiencing anxiety because of the current situation.
She said one positive had been the number of people volunteering, with at least 20 people starting, while existing staff had come back from annual leave to help out.