In April, a number of staff in our outpatients’ team were redeployed to support the Covid-19 vaccine study at St George’s.
The team, made up of health records and clinic co-ordinators, have since then been providing administrative support to the trial. We spoke to them to hear about their experiences.
How did the team end up working as part of the vaccine trial?
By April, our usual work in outpatients had slowed down considerably, so when our managers approached us about potentially supporting the Covid-19 vaccine study, it was a welcome change.
We are all experienced in a range of admin roles, and this was something that the vaccine study team needed to assist them.
What have you moved to doing?
Similar work to what we do in outpatients really. Admin support such as running the reception desk, escorting patients to where they need to be, transporting samples and preparing patient packs.
We’ve all worked closely with a new group of consultants and nurses, from both St George’s University and the Trust, and they’ve all been so welcoming. None of us knew much about research and how it interlinks with the work of the Trust, so that’s been really interesting.
How difficult was it to adapt to your new roles?
It was challenging getting used to wearing Personal Protective Equipment, and adapting to the new work environment, but we’ve all just thrown ourselves into it.
It’s been so nice having the support from Leanne Saddler and Doreen Mangion through these tough times. It’s been strange being away from our friends and colleagues for such a long time but we do pop in and say hello when we can.
Have you enjoyed the experience?
The vaccine study team have been really welcoming, and we wanted to say thanks to Dr Eva Galiza, Professor Paul Heath, Dr Sabina, Sabina Ikram, Suzie Wright and the whole team for this.
We’ve also been donated some very generous gifts, and received some goody bags from St George’s Hospital Charity.
The other day a colleague said that it’s nice for us to have been a part of history, in 20 years’ time we can say that we were a part of the vaccine trial, even though we aren’t playing a vital clinical role we still feel as if we are playing our part! Nothing like Covid-19 has happened before, and it’s been amazing that we’ve been able to play our part.
Thank you to the team for all their hard work! The outpatient staff that have been redeployed to support the study are listed below: