"I work on Stratford Ward at Newham Hospital, which is an acute respiratory ward. We usually treat patients with asthma, COPD or tuberculosis, but over the past few months we have been treating a lot of COVID-19 patients.

Like many of of colleagues, the peak of the pandemic was difficult for me. We were busier than ever, while also being understaffed as many of our colleagues needed to quarantine themselves after becoming ill. I caught the virus myself and was terrified about bringing it home to my family.

The worst day was when we lost a patient who came to us every week. I had built up a relationship with him and knew him very well. Our team mourned him together. We remember every one of our patients – none of them were lost in vain.

As hard as it was, this time showed how strong we all are. I was so proud of how we pulled together as a team, with all hands to the pump. We saw just how resilient Stratford Ward, and the hospital as a whole, was.

Our team leant heavily on each other in the midst of the crisis. We cried together, laughed together and were there for each other. As the Ward Manager, it was important that I listened to my colleagues and let them tell me about their feelings in order to stop the pressure becoming overwhelming. Stratford Ward became my hospital family.

That’s why I think it is amazing that Barts Charity is funding psychological support sessions for staff in our hospitals. In particular, they are offering group sessions for teams like ours, that will help us support each other. They are also delivering individual sessions for staff who need more personal support."

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