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I’ve been a matron at University College Hospital (UCH) in London since 2011 but had actually been on secondment for six months at The Lister Hospital before COVID. I returned to work at UCH on Monday 2 March, the day we received the letter to intensive care hospitals from Italy saying ‘start preparing now’ – we haven’t stopped since. We expanded massively within a very short space of time, going first from 35 to 86 critical care beds then creating a further 22 up on one of the wards. I’m responsible for the ‘3rd floor’ as we call it, which is the critical care area and the theatre area. On our busiest days so far, we’ve seen up to eight new COVID patients, with around 62 critically ill patients.

Royal College of Nursing Archive

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