“I’m humbled by the opportunity that I have at the moment to offer words of encouragement and to be able to administer the vaccine to nurses so that they can go on delivering care to patients day after day.”
As part of our support to the NHS during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Anthony Fitzgerald has temporarily swapped his role as Matron/Director of Nursing at our new hospital (opens in the autumn), Nuffield Health at St Bartholomew’s, to work in the vaccination team at Barts Health NHS Trust. Anthony tells us about how he is getting on:
Anthony, why did you choose to support the NHS?
I chose to support the NHS, because there is an acute need for registered nurses to support care delivery on the NHS frontline at the moment. I’m proud to be a nurse, and I feel honoured to be able to return to the frontline to be able to support nurses to deliver care to patients at this time. Nuffield Health’s new hospital at St Bartholomew’s Hospital opens in the autumn so it feels like a good time to play my part in supporting the NHS now.
Tell us about the role you are doing? What do you enjoy about your role with the NHS?
I am currently supporting the St Bartholomew’s Hospital COVID-19 vaccination Hub. I am a vaccinator, administering the Pfizer vaccine to frontline healthcare staff and patients of St Bartholomew’s Hospital. I enjoy this role, because I can make a real difference to public health, by administering the vaccine to as many people as I can possibly vaccinate! The days are extremely busy, as we vaccinate around 350 people every day.
How is your role with the NHS different to your role at Nuffield Health?
My role in the NHS of administering the vaccine is very different. I’m am responsible for the clinical assessment of a person’s suitability for receiving the vaccine. This includes educating on the potential side effects of the vaccine, administering the vaccine, and monitoring for any post-vaccine reactions. I generally see around 50 to 60 patients a day. In my role as a Matron at the new hospital of Nuffield Health at St Bartholomew’s which opens in the autumn, I’m responsible for setting professional standards for quality and safety, and monitoring that these standards are being delivered consistently by our care teams.
Is working for the NHS different to what you expected? If so, in what way?
Working for the NHS is very different to what I expected. I see NHS nurses that are tired, both physically and emotionally, they are in need of wellbeing support themselves. I’m humbled by the opportunity that I have at the moment to offer words of encouragement and to be able to administer the vaccine to nurses so that they can go on delivering care to patients day after day.
What would you say to someone else at Nuffield Health who is thinking of supporting the NHS?
To anyone, this is an amazing opportunity to support our colleagues in the NHS, and to make a difference to patients and staff who need our help.
What are the people you are working with like?
Friendly, welcoming, the NHS team are extremely grateful for our help.
Are you working with other Nuffield Health secondees or people who don’t usually work for the NHS?
I’m lucky that I have been redeployed with other members of the Nuffield Health team. This creates an opportunity for team working and it feels like I am still part of the Nuffield Health family while being redeployed to the NHS.