In this blog I will share my experiences and thoughts over the next weeks and months. I also want to tell your stories, so I am asking staff members across the NHS to send me your uplifting anecdotes and photos because, if we pull together and support our peers, we will get through this. Please send your photos and stories to @DocDeaner.
Today, amidst the stress of preparing for, and starting to deal with this modern day ‘plague’, comfort eating has an important role. To this end, my daughter, Victoria, decided to bake a cake for me to take to work. Bake-off Fridays have long been a feature of my King George Hospital CCU ward round but this was the first Tuesday bake and the first one at Bart’s. Her delicious banana loaf (containing lots of chocolate) went down very well and was a great way to start the day, especially as I’d missed breakfast. The food theme continued when I moved on to King George Hospital. It seems the place has been inundated with food! Fruit, crisps, biscuits, drinks and more. Trolleys full of goodies were being distributed to the wards. Thanks to whoever ever sent it, I’ll give you a mention in a future blog entry, once I find out who you are.
There’s a saying amongst Jews that sums up many incidents in our history and how we remember them, ‘they tried to kill us, we survived…… let’s eat!’ I hope at some point, in the not too distant future, we can have a huge feast to mark the end of this awful pandemic.
Today I left home early. Yesterday evening, following discussions with colleagues I made the decision to move back to support the clinical effort at King George. Bart’s is a great place to work but we have a large cohort of senior doctors. King George is smaller with a great family atmosphere. It has fewer consultants and less junior staff. I spent 90% of the first 15 years of my senior career here and helped set up much of the cardiac service. It’s where my heart really lies and at this difficult time, where I feel most comfortable. So today the plan was to do the ward round at Bart’s and then drive over to Goodmayes. I spent the late morning and this afternoon working out where I can most usefully be deployed. It looks like I’ll share the management of a medical ward as well as supporting the cardiology service. I’ll keep you up to date as to how that goes. There are already many COVID-19 patients here and it’s clear we will become steadily busier as the weeks go by.
As you can see, as I walked from the car park at the Barbican (using my free NHS parking space, a big thanks to NCP!) the sky was blue and the sun shone on the dome of St Paul’s. Perhaps this was deceptive or perhaps not, maybe it’s a reminder that in time the sun will shine on all of us. We need to stick together, and we will get through this!
About the Author
Dr Andrew Deaner is a Consultant Cardiologist at King George Hospital in Ilford and Bart's Heart Centre in Central London. He is the Head of the London School of Medicine and has been an NHS consultant since 1996.