Hearing Implant Programme | Celebrating BWC Spirit

Celebrating BWC Spirit

BWC Spirit Logo We are highlighting the amazing things our colleagues have done and achieved during the pandemic.

Our teams have bravely stood by the side of our patients, changed how they have worked to keep key and emergency services running and gone beyond the Trust to help colleagues in other parts of the NHS.

They have done so with an approach and spirit that is uniquely BWC and we want to celebrate that and what has been achieved.

From frontline clinical colleagues to our unseen and often unsung heroes in labs, offices and in our corridors - everyone has had a part to play and we’re sharing some of their stories over the next two weeks.

If you would like to thank individuals or teams either by sharing some kind words, pictures or a short video we would love to see them. You can submit your messages, pictures or videos by emailing bwc.communications@nhs.net

Hearing Implant Programme

Hearing Implant Programme Team By Kate Hanvey, Head of Department, Hearing Implant Programme (based at Aston University) 

I honestly couldn’t be prouder of my entire team and what they’ve achieved in the past 12 months. When the pandemic hit and we went into the first lockdown 12 months ago, I vividly recall firmly telling team members to ‘go home’ – no one wanted to leave their work and it felt very much like we were abandoning the children and families we work with.  

Throughout those first few days of lockdown as individuals adjusted to working from home, and before we got into the flow of a new way of working, I had to reassure the team that it was OK to take breaks, OK if they didn’t have work to complete, OK if they needed to be elsewhere to support family and friends.  

My team is wonderfully committed to their jobs and many were dealing with feelings of guilt for not working hard enough. Meanwhile, we established two team bubbles of three on a Team A, and Team B weekly rota and the service only completely shut down for a matter of days before we were up and running again for urgent appointments.  

Being off-site on Aston University campus was like being in a ghost town – we were only one of three services open (one of which was security) and the services who share our building weren’t here. We went everywhere in threes to avoid leaving anyone on their own. 

The ‘not having enough work to do’ quickly passed and the team moved into production overdrive! The opportunity to overhaul SOPs, our M drive, and Excel databases and start to drill down into waiting list management was seized with enthusiasm; at the same time phone reviews started and within a few weeks we had teletherapy sessions up and running.  

Thanks to Konnie Tzifa, the theatres team and our preadmission team, I believe we were the first cochlear implant team in the UK to re-start surgeries in mid-May 2020 and by the first week of June 2020 we re-opened our doors to routine outpatient appointments, albeit with a lot of different working practices in place. Being off-site from the main hospital was advantageous for our service in this respect. 

Since this time we have continued surgeries, and outpatient appointments both face to face and over video and have been able to provide a complete service that we are all proud of under extremely difficult circumstances. We also decided (perhaps against our better judgement!) to plough on with a planned change management project overhauling and reviewing the whole service from receipt of referral to transfer out to adult services, which has allowed us to work more efficiently and develop more new ways of working.  

This is still a work in progress. However, it created an extra level of stress that some of the team could have done without and it’s testament to their strength that they’ve worked through this despite the challenges faced. Like many others, team members were also dealing with their anxieties, sickness, family illness, homeschooling and caring for others at the same time as dealing with the hardest work pressures ever experienced.  

I’d like to acknowledge every one of my amazing team for their hard work, creativity, passion, thoughtfulness and kindness towards each other (and me) and the families we work with (in alphabetical order): 

  • Hannah Ager  

  • Marette Ambler 

  • Catharine Clarkson 

  • Jennie Clewes 

  • Sophie Harris  

  • Richard Irving 

  • Suman Loyla 

  • Justine Maggs 

  • Rachel Mason 

  • Lynette Pienaar 

  • Anita Pretorius 

  • Tracy Ricketts 

  • Sahira Saeed 

  • Konnie Tzifa 

  • Suki Virdi 

  • Sadia Zoolfqar 

Whilst I’ve said versions of this to the team in almost every team meeting, I appreciate the opportunity to say it publically and shout out how brilliant they all are! Thank you.  

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