Three generations of the same family are working as part of the Covid-19 response at Newcastle Hospitals
Three generations of the same family are caring on the front line of the Covid-19 response at Newcastle Hospitals.
Mother, daughter and grandma are working together providing support to staff and patients through the Covid-19 pandemic at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Victoria Infirmary, The Freeman Hospital, The Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle Dental Hospital, The Campus for Ageing and Vitality, and community services across the City.
Verity Pinkney is a nurse and Clinical Educator in Renal Services at the Freeman Hospital, her 20-year-old daughter Megan Latimer is a student nurse in her second year of her studies training within Newcastle, and her mother Audrey Crosby is a healthcare assistant in elderly rehabilitation also at the Freeman Hospital.
Verity qualified as a nurse in 2012 and worked on the Haemodialysis Unit as a dialysis nurse for eight years before becoming the Renal Clinical Educator last September.
“I train people including our students, newly qualified staff and long term colleagues, along with supporting our workforce in keeping their clinical skills up to date, holding teaching sessions to cover changes in practice or updates and working with corporate staff for help with the needs of the Trust outside of the Renal (kidney) Directorate.
“I’m currently giving clinical skills training to staff who are being redeployed to other areas of the Trust where they are needed as part of the Covid-19 response.”
She added: “In renal services we have nearly 150 patients every day for dialysis as well as patients on the ward who require admission. Patient and staff safety is the most important thing. We are managing well as we planned ahead for different scenarios through Covid-19, with staff having Fit Testing for masks and PPE training, as well as making sure patients are appropriately screened on arrival.”
She added: “Morale is generally good, but staff do have times of anxiety. There is a lot of support available amongst the staff as we are all aware of the risks involved.”
Verity’s daughter Megan, 20, followed in her nursing footsteps and is a second year student nurse with Northumbria University on placements at the hospital. She was doing her placement and was due to go to a cardio ward but has volunteered to give extra support where it is needed as an ‘opt in, meaning she will be a paid member of the team for up to eight weeks, but also using it as a placement during her studies.
“She may go to the wards where she was due to go for her placements or she may be redeployed somewhere else. She wants to be on the front line, helping staff but also learning,” said Verity.
Verity’s mum and Megan’s grandma Audrey Crosby is a healthcare assistant on an elderly rehab ward which is taking patients from other areas which need to accommodate Covid-19 patients.
Verity explains: “I was the first one to go into healthcare. My mum did a lot of community caring, and decided to go for a job at the Trust. She’s never looked back, it has been fantastic.”
Working together brings mixed feelings during such unprecedented times where NHS staff are making sacrifices every day.
“I am worried as they are my family and I know what they are facing every day,” said Verity. “But we are safe, working in the hospital, we know what we are up against and how to handle it.’’
“It is nice to see them at work especially at the moment while they are isolating when they are at home. I hadn’t seen my mum for two weeks so I popped up to her ward and saw her whilst we were socially distancing which was lovely.”
Verity is urging people to look after each other through difficult times.
“I would say to people just remember that this is temporary and we will get through it together. Team work is the key and for our staff – you have your colleagues looking after you as much as you are looking after them.”
Page last updated: 5 May, 2020, 5:12pm