A LEAD nurse from Barnsley Hospital’s intensive care unit has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award for her tireless work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Leanne Battley, from Tickhill in Doncaster, has worked at Barnsley Hospital for just under 18 months and has spent 15 years working in various intensive care units throughout the country.

The 37-year-old believes the demands of the virus created unprecedented challenges for NHS workers in the area.

She said: “This is the most challenging year of my career in every way I could imagine.

“Our critical care unit has faced unprecedented changes, increasing its capacity by 100 per cent, and by doing so has allowed us to care for the most poorly people in Barnsley.

“One thing that has shone throughout is the incredible team work and dedication from all staff through the hospital.

“Despite facing personal challenges everyone has really come together to be able to deliver the best care we can under such enormous pressures.”

Leanne said one of the most difficult challenges was seeing the physical and mental impact the pandemic had on staff.

“Our intensive care staff are amazing.

“Nurses who have worked their whole careers in intensive care have sometimes felt overwhelmed after working long hours in full PPE while seeing how many patients have been so unwell and sadly have lost their lives to this awful virus.

“This has been the toughest time of all our careers but it has been a privilege to be in it together, working with such wonderful staff and caring for the patients who are very ill.

“Massively expanding the unit in a very short space of time meant we had to draft in staff from other areas of the trust including theatres and surgery.

“We delivered rapid training to all these staff and had to work in different ways that utilised everyone’s skills.

“The resilience shown from all these staff has been amazing.

“I really do love the feeling of making a difference to a patient and their family and this has never changed since day one of my career.”

Leanne’s sacrifices have landed her a nomination as a Hospital Hero in this year’s Proud of Barnsley award.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be nominated. However, I can’t stress enough this has been a real team effort.”