COVID-19: Stories from the frontline

Gavin Shields, Associate Director of Nursing for Mental Health, shares his experiences

Gavin Shields

“I’m the Associate Director of Nursing for Mental Health across King’s. I oversee the development of mental health initiatives and I’m currently leading on staff health and wellbeing, in response to coronavirus, together with our psychiatric liaison colleagues, occupational health and psychology leads. During this challenging period it’s vital that we look after our mental health and wellbeing.

“We are supporting staff in a number of different ways, including wellbeing hubs, which are spaces to drop-in for advice on staying well, how to care for patients who are critically ill and how to deliver care to the best of our abilities, as well as support, rest and a place to have something to eat and drink. We are working with our senior leadership teams to develop methods of providing staff and teams with practical and relevant advice to get us through this difficult time.

“To support patients and families affected by COVID-19, we are providing iPads to enable patients to stay connected to their loved ones who are unable to visit them in the hospital. A range of self-help materials is available for people with Long Term Conditions on the IMPARTS website. There are lots of other local initiatives taking place on the wards across the Trust.

“The one message I would emphasize to staff is to look after yourself, make sure you rest and recharge. It’s okay to not be okay. And - please talk to someone you trust if you have any uncertainties. It’s also important to be kind to one another as everyone has lots of stuff going on that we may not know about. We’re all in this together and whilst it’s really hard, we will get through it together.”

For further information please contact:
Karen Welsh
Head of Communications
Extension: +44 (0)20 3299 3850