Casey Francis, Patient Experience Manager was redeployed as a Health Care Assistant

Date: 30 June 2020

Casey Francis

Casey Francis, Patient Experience Manager was redeployed as a Health Care Assistant during the COVID-19 pandemic. She tells us about her experience of redeployment.

Did you volunteer for this role?

When the call for corporate services staff to volunteer, I advised my manager I was happy to help out on the wards using my previous experience as a Health Care Assistant. I offered to help part-time because some of my usual role had been put on hold due to the pandemic.

Where did you work?

I was redeployed to the Silver Birches ward at Chase Farm Hospital which cares for people over 65 with dementia and I did one or two shifts a week there at the height of the pandemic.

What kind of duties did you carry out?

My responsibilities included personal hygiene, monitoring vital observations, assisting with meal times and washing, getting patients ready for bed, and providing activities for the patients because lots of the usual activities had been cancelled due to COVID-19.

How did you feel about it beforehand?

I was very nervous going back onto the wards in a clinical role as I moved into management about five years ago. I was also nervous about how the ward would be run on a day to day basis during the pandemic.

How were you welcomed?

I can honestly say the team on Silver Birches were so friendly and welcoming. The day I arrived the ward Consultant had brought takeout lunch for all the team to say thank you for all their hard work. I was encouraged to join them and I got a real sense of a close, supportive team. I was given an introduction to the ward and a walk around of where I could find essential items. I shadowed a permanent Health Care Assistant and I was advised of the correct Personal Protective Equipment to wear and when to change it.

The team were lovely! They are all such a friendly, happy group of people. Despite the difficulties they faced with COVID-19 and the distress some patients experienced because their families couldn’t visit, the staff continued to keep morale high! I never felt a burden to ask any queries and I was reassured the care I was providing was correct and to a high standard.

Would you do it again?

Most definitely! Not only was it rewarding to help out where I could with the COVID-19 pandemic and feel a sense of achievement, I also think it provides insight for staff from a managerial or administration role to see how our clinical teams work.

  • Summary:

    Casey Francis, Patient Experience Manager was redeployed as a Health Care Assistant during the COVID-19 pandemic. She tells us about her experience of redeployment.