On Wednesday 14 October, the North East London Cancer Alliance visited King George Hospital to interview staff and patients in our green, covid-protected zones. The purpose of this was to create a video to reassure patients that it is safe to come in for cancer services. We hear from Paul Thomas, Communications and Engagement Manager for the Cancer Alliance, about his experience of the day.
"It was my first visit to the green zones at King George Hospital and I was so impressed. From the moment our team arrived, everything was well organised and structured, yet calm and reassuring.
Staff at the entrance politely explained the process, gave us our new masks, took our temperatures, noted our details for test and trace and then escorted us to the operating theatres and Iris ward on the first floor. It was great to see additional temperature checks being undertaken here and further hand sanitising upon entering. Phillipa Ward gave us a very warm welcome and made us feel at ease.
We interviewed Dip Mukherjee, Consultant Upper GI & Laparoscopic Surgeon for BHRUT. He spoke passionately about the need to let patients know it is safe to come in for treatment and emphasised how vital it is for them to attend their appointments.
We were able to meet a range of staff and also interviewed one of Dip's patients, Allen Mahoney, who was recovering well from vital cancer treatment. Allen praised the service he has received from BHRUT. He was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and had a very complex surgery, lasting seven hours, to remove his oesophagus and part of his stomach. A new oesophagus was then created from his stomach.
This operation was carried out by Dip and a number of team members, including Dr Prakah Naik, an expert anaesthetic consultant. Allen is back to normal activity and eating well, as his recovery progresses. During our interview with him, he was very thankful to BHRUT staff, especially in the Vanessa Woodward and Iris wards where he was looked after.
During my visit to King Gorge Hospital, there was social distancing at all times and it was obvious how much hard work has gone into making this a safe and pleasant environment for both staff and patients. I only hope we can do it justice on the video!
The final version of the video is due at the end of the month and we look forward to sharing the results with you."