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While Team GB has been enjoying podium success in the Tokyo Olympics Swansea Bay UHB’s Medical Device Training Team has picked up a gold medal of its own, in recognition of exceptional service during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Morriston Hospital-based team has been awarded the President’s Gold Medal by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) after impressing judges through devising new ways of working. These had a considerable impact on improving patient care, demonstrating excellence and leadership over the last 16 months.
Like a triathlon, there were three key areas where the team demonstrated excellence and innovative ways of working.
The first, Essential Skills (Back to the Floor), involved training for retired nurses and operating department practitioners, second-year students, doctors in training, community staff and those returning to work, in areas such as intra-venous (IV) therapy, donning and doffing PPE, oxygen prescribing and safety.
The second area was a new IV Hub set up in the new temporary Intensive Care Unit (ITU) 28 bed area in Morriston. The project saw redeployed staff trained to draw-up and prepare intra-venous infusions ready for the mammoth task of treating very sick Covid patients in ITU settings.
The third area was a training session around medical gas and oxygen safety prescribing. This course became the most attended session, with the team travelling far and wide to ensure that staff supervising and caring for patients that needed oxygen therapy were also included in the new updated training.
A new way of recording oxygen therapy and delivery also led to the launch of National Early Warning Score (NEWS) Cymru on St David’s Day. NEWS is a tool which improves the detection and response to clinical deterioration in patients and a key part of patient safety and improved outcomes.
Over 1,000 staff attended sessions and feedback across the board was excellent.
Paul Lee, the health board’s Medical Devices Training Manager, said: “None of this would have been possible without the help, input and support from a range of staff including Claire Devine and Jennifer Thomas from the medical device training team, colleagues from nurse education and training, corporate nursing, the Liberty Stadium staff and, of course, all those staff and volunteers who answered the call and signed up to help and assist our patients during these unprecedented times.
“This Gold medal rewards a real team effort.”
Andy Irwin, the health board’s Head of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, said: “Paul and his team in MEMS and other clinical colleagues thoroughly deserve to be recognised for their innovative work during a very challenging period.
“The gold medal is an acknowledgement that will also help to highlight the critical role performed by medical physics and clinical engineering during the pandemic.”
Throughout this year, the Medical Devices training team has been working nationally to design and launch their e-learning course for medical gas and oxygen safety, which will be available later on.