I’ve been busy vaccinating and planning post-pandemic departmental strategies

It’s been an interesting month. Unfortunately, following on from the cancellation of the robotics course and subsequently the office based ENT procedures course in London, the amount of operating capacity in East Kent reduced significantly. I therefore volunteered to help on intensive care in East Kent assisting with family updates – I helped to provide vital communication links between the hospital and patients’ relatives during these difficult times when relatives are only allowed to visit in exceptional circumstances.

I have also been part of the vaccination team and have completed my first clinics at the Canterbury cricket ground. The setup there is incredible. We had over 600 patients booked into our room and we were running ahead of time. The room is separated in 5 rows of 6 chairs (as you can see above) and the process was unbelievably smooth and efficient. There are 3 clinical teams dealing with each patient. The first team draw up the vaccinations, the second team check in and prescribe – making sure everyone receiving the vaccine is suitable while the last team walk along administering the vaccination.

I have also started as Audit Lead and have now chaired two ENT departmental meetings. The first was a great success. We had Christine from Styker attend and show the team some new products including a cryotherapy (freezing) device to help patients with chronic nasal discharge. This was followed up with more detail at the second audit and we want to look at implementing this as a treatment.

As part of our departmental update, we are currently planning our short, medium and long term strategy for coming out of the pandemic – and forward planning for when the new hospital is developed in East Kent. Sadly, there is going to be a long wait for elective non urgent surgery in the NHS. We have also agreed on a strategy for managing our high-risk paediatric population in East Kent and are planning a consultant led operative service for these high-risk individuals, which we hope to implement over the next few months at the end of the pandemic.

I am pleased to say that things are now picking up and I am back to more regular operating sessions; I hope the service will soon resume at the William Harvey over the next few weeks as the operating theatres re-open due to the continuing fall in COVID-19 positive cases within East Kent.