'A Little Bit Calmer' at St George's Hospital

Pressure eases but over 200 still being treated for Covid-19

Hannah Packham with donated painting. Picture: St. George's

The coronavirus situation at St George’s Hospital in Tooting “is a little bit calmer now” but more than 230 people are still being treated for the virus.

Junior Sister, Hannah Packham, said, “It is still a difficult time, and many of us are still anxious coming on shift about what lies ahead that day. But early January was so, so intense for everyone – so it is a little bit calmer now.

“All the staff are working so hard to keep each other afloat – and we still get so many kind words from members of the public.”

Ms Packham featured in a moving BBC report at the height of the second wave in January, telling journalists, “Our colleagues are more like family. You can rant and rave and cry and no one holds it against you. I personally cry quite a lot when I get home at the moment.”

Last week, she received an unexpected present donated by local artist Emily Watson, who was inspired to paint a picture of her after seeing the report.

Speaking again this week, Ms Packham said, “It was such an unexpected present, and so kind of Emily. I also had a lot of staff come up to me when the BBC report was broadcast saying ‘thank you for being so honest’.

“It was all a bit strange, but I think it helped St George’s get the message across about Covid, and what the impact on staff was.”

During the peak in January more than 350 people were being cared for at St George’s in intensive care and on the wards. While this number has decreased in recent weeks, the hospital still remains busy.

As of 15 February, there are 62 Covid-19 positive patients being treated in intensive care and 172 Covid-positive patients being cared for on the wards.

699 patients have died and tested positive for the virus at the hospital since March 2020.

In Wandsworth borough cases are also steadily decreasing. In the seven days to February 10, there were 122.2 cases per 100,000 people. This compares to a peak of 849.3 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to January 4.

Since March 2020, 419 Wandsworth residents have sadly died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.

Sian Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter

February 16, 2021