Informatics | 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


By Paul Franklin, Head of Informatics and Maddie Ahmed, Deputy Information Manager, Informatics  

Informatics What was your experience of the pandemic? 

As soon as it was understood nationally that the pandemic was going to be very significant there was a very urgent requirement to set up data collection systems to understand numbers. This meant we had to set up new systems to capture data about cases, patients in hospital, staff sickness with COVID-19 etc and introduce new routine daily data submissions, to populate the new national COVID-19 dashboards. These included all weekends and all bank holidays.   

We also had to make similar urgent requests about testing and vaccination numbers, all with very short notice and with out-of-hours reporting required.  We also had to introduce internal dashboards and develop software applications/systems to help capture daily sitreps across the Trust about the pandemic. We needed also to almost entirely work from home, which meant setting up systems to ensure we could deliver in a new way, having donated our office space to the Ops divisions. 

As the pandemic began to ease, a large amount of thought and analytical work has been done regarding describing and measuring recovery and restoration. 

Staff in the team also did a lot of ‘meeting and greeting’ front door duty at the Children’s and Women’s sites. 

What was the hardest part? 

Responding in time to the large number of urgent requests that came through the Major Incident route and ensuring the Trust was able to deliver on its requirements, whilst continuing to provide the same level of service to colleagues who needed data and information.  

Continued long additional working hours throughout the whole pandemic take its toll also. There was some inevitable loss of connection between the staff in the team as a result of nearly 100% of the team working from home and new starters had little opportunity to meet other team members in person or spend a lot of time on site. All these can lead to stress and anxiety, especially as team members may also have their own family to worry about.  

Colleagues in the team have experienced an element of social isolation and deterioration of their mental health since the pandemic started. A global pandemic has meant a lot of service users are asking a lot of questions and therefore we had increased demand for information (also now in the recovery phase), our workload has increased by circa 40% despite reductions in terms of workforce, this has been a huge challenge and we have felt this pressure immensely. 

How did you cope? 

We coped via staff volunteering to do extra hours, to work in the evenings and at weekends based on their goodwill and their dedication to our hospitals and the wider NHS. This included staff working six to eight hours at weekends compiling and completing the national figures regarding the pandemic. The impact of the lockdown and workload on some team members’ mental health was real, but conversely, many of us in the team have become more health conscious, spending more time exercising and going on nature walks etc. This has then had a more substantially positive effect on our mental health and wellbeing in general.   

What did you learn? 

We learned new ways of working flexibly such as home working, and that we can still be productive working in that way. We learnt (and reinforced our existing knowledge) that our staff are professional, dedicated and will go the extra mile for the Trust when needed. We feel that as a team we have learnt many new skills and developed more confidence. 

A safe working environment has been created from home since the beginning of the pandemic whilst successfully adapting to changes regarding day-to-day work so we have learnt that we are capable of doing a lot more than we initially thought. We have also realised our ability to work efficiently and effectively under pressure taking on new reporting requirements with little notice to prepare resulting in us becoming better employees and stronger team players. We have had to learn new methods of communication other than face-to-face and whilst doing so found more efficient ways to complete certain tasks and work together as a team. The team was previously split across two sites where colleagues may not have spoken to one another often, in some ways we now have a more inclusive work culture and I feel communication is stronger than has ever been before. For the future, we have learnt ways of communicating across sites 

How do you think it changed the team? 

The pandemic forged bonds of reliance that will remain as the team goes forward into the future. Team members took on responsibilities they may not otherwise have had to and thrived. We have learnt many new skills in a short amount of time.  We previously worked in the office full time but now that we have proven that we can work effectively at home and created a safe and productive remote environment which has given us much-needed flexibility with work, often resulting in increases in efficiency.  

Beyond your team, who has inspired you during the pandemic? 

The volunteers we did door duty with and the security team at BWH. Clinicians such as senior nurses provide innovative solutions e.g. the work on how to provide care at ward level when need is to socially distance. All the staff working on the vaccination hub. Cleaners and other ancillary workers e.g. coming in to keep the hospital clean who can’t isolate and work from home.  The clinical staff provides care to our patients. Colleagues in IT who did a great job setting up remote working. 

We have placed cookies on your computer to help make this website better. You can at any time read our cookie policy. Otherwise, we will assume that you're OK to continue.

Please choose a setting: