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My COVID Story

By Steve Snooks MBBS MD FRCS LLB(Hons)

Steve Snooks MBBS MD FRCS LLBI had retired, aged 65, from the NHS after 40 years of service, but I could not stand by and not help when all retirees were asked if they wanted to return to work. My health is ok, but with asthma, I was turned down for an emergency front line job.

Working with a very helpful medical staffing lady at NHS Professionals, I was soon placed in my current trust. My brief was simple; I was to see as many new patient referrals as possible in the breast unit with Covid precautions. The nurses in outpatients were brilliant, weeding out the people with likely Covid. Over the last year, we lost no members of the team with Covid and personally, I saw approximately two thousand patients with a great radiology team and Consultant colleagues who have been wonderful to work with.

The patients were so grateful to be seen face to face and often brought with them other clinical questions besides their breast referral issues. We did our best to facilitate them and were able to arrange other body scans, blood tests and the like. We all pulled together. I would say though that serious new diagnoses weighed heavily on the patients who worried about how the treatment was going to be delivered in a Pandemic. With the fantastic support of our specialist nurses we gradually helped them along. At other times I learnt much about mental illness, by listening to patients whose physical illness had greatly impacted their mental illness: depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and anxiety.

I was afforded the privilege of listening to these patients and pointing them in the right direction to try to help their mental state, by feeding back to them, despite the circumstances of lockdown, that they were doing very well. It’s all been a tremendous privilege to have gone back and helped the patients, the trust and all the staff. Thank you!

This document does not constitute legal or medical advice and should not be construed as rules or establishing a standard of care. Because the facts applicable to your situation may vary, please contact your solicitor, legal advisor or other professional advisors if you have any questions related to your legal or medical obligations or rights, applicable law, contract interpretation, or other legal questions. © 2021 Premium Medical Protection Ltd. All rights reserved.
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