Teamwork and compassion – meeting the challenges of Covid-19 testing

Agnes Sitjar, is a UNISON Steward at Andover, Basingstoke & Winchester Hospitals branch and is part of the team that was the first in UK hospital’s to develop a live test for Covid-19.

Agnes spoke to us about the challenges she has been facing during Covid-19:

“As a Specialist Biomedical Scientist in Microbiology in Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust (HHFT), I am proud to be part of the team that responded to the challenges of testing for Covid-19. Our Microbiology department in HHFT is one of the first non Public Health England (PHE) laboratories and the first District General Hospital in UK to test for Covid-19. We were faced with the challenges of testing Covid-19 along with staffing problems and increased workloads whilst also adapting to the changes on how we work in our laboratory. We are able to give a good turnaround time of reporting Covid-19 test results, which was crucial in contact tracing and testing more people, especially for infection control and prevention in our Trust.

Despite Agnes’ workload increasing, she also spoke to us about what she’s been doing as a UNISON steward:

“As a UNISON steward, I have been contacted by our UNISON staff members around a number of issues and raised their concerns about PPE. Our Trust responded to our staff members concerns and gave daily communication updates on Covid-19 and PPE supplies and usage.”

And Agnes had this message for UNISON members:

“This pandemic has shown us the value of great teamwork amongst all our NHS colleagues and the great compassion, kindness and generosity of the staff and the public. UNISON have been at the forefront supporting our NHS staff”

Are you a key worker with a story to share about what’s happening in your workplace in the fight against Covid-19? Then we want to hear from you so we can celebrate you, our heroes, and everything you’re doing.

Contact us today