Regional NHS worker recovers from Coronavirus and returns to frontline

A regional NHS staff worker has recovered from Covid-19 and returned to the frontline at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital. Sarah Quinton is one of over 50 regional staff workers who have been redeployed to support the frontline teams fighting coronavirus. Picture of Sarah Quinton in uniform

Sarah had been playing an important role as a Senior Clinical Manager in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Midlands Nursing and Quality Team. Now, she has returned to her previous role as a Nurse Consultant at Heartlands Hospital, which is part of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust.

During her 37-year nursing career, Sarah has been instrumental in improving services which have made a significant impact to the care of acutely critically ill patients. Sarah was previously responsible for managing all the critical care services at Heart of England Foundation NHS Trust which merged into University Hospitals of Birmingham in 2018.

Nurse Sarah Quinton in uniform and PPEAfter just two weeks working in her previous role in the intensive care unit, Sarah herself contracted Covid-19. “It was frightening as working in intensive care you understand what the progression of the illness can be. I was close to being admitted into hospital, but I was fortunate that I made a recovery at home.”

Sarah has now returned to work at Heartlands Hospital and is full of praise for all her critical care & non critical care colleagues. “The staff have been amazing, and they have just stepped up and delivered the quality care that was needed, at a very challenging time.”

One of the key challenges is relatives not being able to visit their loved ones in hospital,” adds Sarah. “This has been really upsetting for staff and they have been making video calls to help critically ill patients get in touch with their loved ones. We have also had to care for some of our own nursing colleagues from the hospital who have been critically ill and that really hits home.”

“Fortunately, it’s calmed down considerably now for us,” says Sarah. “We are now looking after the usual number of critical care patients we would expect to have at the hospital.”

Steve Morrison, Regional Workforce Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands, said:

“I would like to thank and pay tribute to Sarah and all our colleagues who are now using their skills and experience on the frontline. We have been hugely inspired by their commitment and willingness to help provide great care at a crucial time for the NHS.”