Walkie-talkies paid for by Covid-19 Urgent Appeal funds are helping NHS staff overcome challenges during the crisis.

York Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust introduced important new measures in response to the coronavirus, and as the pandemic unfolded teams at York Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust adapted to new ways of working. These include increased use of Personal Protection Equipment and reductions in staff and equipment in theatres to safe levels, to limit exposure and aid social distancing.

Describing the new communication challenges staff were keen to resolve and how the walkie-talkies paid for by York Teaching Hospital Charity helped, Robert Purce, Deputy Team Leader and Charge Nurse Acute Theatre Team at York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“All these factors combined led to a challenge of communicating with circulating staff located out of the theatre to retrieve required equipment, most of which was in unfamiliar storage areas. Communication through closed doors was difficult, untimely and ineffective. Many ideas were thought of however walkie-talkies seemed the most effective. York Teaching Hospital Charity was contacted and the situation explained.

“Their response was immediate and supportive. I was asked to provide an example of what was needed, our request was dealt with urgently. As a result we received multiple sets of walkie-talkies in operation within a couple of days. They have improved communication, we were able to improve our efficiency and gain the appropriate supplies and equipment during operations to provide care to our patients.  

“With the walkies-talkies proving their success in operating theatres, York Teaching Hospital Charity was contacted again to request further sets to be used in other clinical areas within the Theatres and Anaesthetic department. Once again the charity provided more help and stepped in to provide assistance without hesitation.”

He added: “As a department we cannot thank York Teaching Hospital Charity enough for their help and we are so grateful to NHS Charities Together for their grant.”

Urgent Appeal Grants

Grants given to NHS charities are used to meet the immediate and urgent needs of patients, staff and volunteers. Funding is also going towards helping partnerships outside hospitals, such as hospices, community healthcare and social care, making sure patients leaving hospital have access to the care they need to recover. In the longer term it will also fund programmes to help staff and volunteers recover fully once the crisis has abated, reducing the long-term impact on them and the people they care about.

About the Urgent Appeal

The NHS Charities Together Urgent Appeal acknowledges and supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients. It has been put together in liaison with NHS England and national bodies, our member NHS charities and national giving platforms. Click here to donate.