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Meet part of the team keeping a Norfolk hospital running throughout the coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 12:36 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:36 30 April 2020

Laura Thomas, assistant HR Business Partner at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Laura Thomas, assistant HR Business Partner at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Queen Elizabeth Hospital

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Meet part of the team working at the heart of a Norfolk hospital to ensure it is properly mobilised in its fight against the coronavirus crisis.

Behind the doctors and nurses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn is a team that has been working “tirelessly” to ensure that crucial staff are in place to care for patients across all wards.

Laura Thomas and nine people in the hospital’s HR Business Partners department have been helping to keep the “machine running smoothly” while the NHS is dealing with immense extra pressures.

Their work ensures the hospital keeps functioning by maintaining necessary staffing levels and getting “the right people to the right place” on the coronavirus frontline at the west Norfolk hospital.

The assistant HR business partner said: “We’ve seen big changes over recent weeks to the work that we do.

“We’ve been contacting recently retired colleagues and part time staff who have the expertise needed to support the frontline work on the wards.

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“We’ve been redeploying staff as needed to keep key departments up and running, as well as protecting our more vulnerable staff members.

“We’ve also been very grateful for the response to a call for local people with specific skills to help ease any pressures we’re feeling in this very demanding time.

“In my four years at the trust I’ve certainly not seen anything like the task that coronavirus has brought us, but everyone pulling together has meant that we’ve been able to keep meeting the challenges that we face every day.”

The QEH has received around 400 applications from people wanting to help with the response to the pandemic, which includes 25 from registered nurses and midwives and 86 from healthcare assistants.

The team have also set up a staff helpline to enable them to continue to provide HR support while following social distancing rules.

She added: “While it’s not business as usual at the moment colleagues can still come to us with any questions they have.

“Every day we’re looking at the latest government guidance to ensure we can give everyone the most up to date advice possible.”


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