'I spoke with a staff nurse who told me this was her 14th night without a break' - life inside Warwick Hospital from a patient's point of view

Paul Hulett is in Warwick Hospital recovering from an operation. He has written this piece to show his appreciation for the hard-working staff at the hospital, who are working long hours during this pandemic.

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 4:39 pm

A glimpse inside in a ward in Warwick Hospital by Paul Hulett

Written on January 14

If you have your doubts on how hectic the life of any nurse (or anyone that takes care of your pre-op and post-op needs), then read the following.

Paul Hulett took this photo of himself from his hospital bed.

I was rushed into hospital last Sunday. Not only are the nursing staff flat out but breaks don't happen. They work endlessly to the needs of us all - from bed pans to hourly checks, blood samples and scans. Constantly they run to the call of your bell as most of us are unable to leave our beds.

Surgical staff are constantly in the ward checking this, checking that.

Many of the nursing staff are trainees from Coventry University Hospital sent to Warwick to fill the caps of fully qualified nursing staff. They work long shifts but always try to maintain a smile or two to show us that we are important to them.

I spoke with a staff nurse who told me this was her 14th night without a break - not normal but needs be. She said we all pull together as a team and we stand by these who struggle under the stress. I am suffering with pain after an operation to my leg and my left hand in plaster. I myself was very low and needed family around me but those days of visiting times are gone. We rely on families to deliver our clothes and treats to the ward entrance for the nursing staff to take them from the bags to make our life that little bit easier.

There is a constant concerns about Covid. The staff wash hands until they are sore and rip off their plastic aprons after every interaction with a patient. We have been tested for Covid every three days. We discovered that someone has been tested for Covid so the ward was disinfected from corner to corner. Their bed is empty stripped bare. When I was told I was now to isolate, it brought a cold shiver to my spine. My body is weak - maybe if I caught it I wouldn't be strong enough to beat it.

Many worrying thoughts pass through you. Being at the heart of our NHS brings home how much we need them and how much they give us all, so please support every one of them. It would be unimaginable without them.

By Paul Hulett

UPDATE: We have had a reply from Warwick Hospital.

Glen Burley, Trust Chief Executive, said: “It’s heart-warming to read Paul’s account of his time at Warwick Hospital.

"Since the beginning of this pandemic our frontline staff have been working incredibly hard to contain the spread of the virus while ensuring our patients continue to receive the highest standards of care.

"We are now treating more COVID patients than at any other point in the pandemic and our staff are working under challenging conditions every day with an increased demand for their time and resources.

"We couldn’t be more proud of the amazing job they’re doing and we’re grateful to Paul for sharing his experience. It means a lot to those leading the fight against this disease on the frontline.”