A CORONAVIRUS ward which has fought to save countless lives throughout the pandemic has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.

Nurses on ward 17, at Barnsley Hospital, have worked tirelessly to be a port of call for patients fighting Covid-19.

Prior to the pandemic, the ward 17 nurses worked as a diabetic and endocrine team on ward 22.

To support a respiratory unit being formed, cardiology speciality merged with ward 22 until plans were made to build a new critical care unit there.

The diabetes and endocrine team was therefore moved to ward 17 which became a Covid-19 ward.

During the peak the ward was hit with sickness and shielding, yet the team continued to run with the goodwill of staff working on their days off, cancelling planned annual leave and leaving their own families to support others.

The staff also worked later to help others coming on shift.

To support communication on the ward, the team created a new role called ‘family liasion officer’ who telephones patients’ loved ones to provide them with an update.

It has also supported clinical staff so they can spend more time with the patients providing essential care.

Lead nurse Louise Smith said: “As a ward we have experienced lows due to Covid-related unavoidable deaths.

“We build up relationships with our patients and relatives who have been present with their loved ones at the end.

“At times it has been difficult finishing the ward leaving so much sadness and heartache behind yet the spirit of the staff we work with and the appreciation of our local community has helped with resilience.”

The frontline workers have been recognised in the Hospital Hero category at this year’s Proud of Barnsley award.

Louise added: “Being nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award has been truly welcomed at a time when staff are tired and ready to finally see their own friends and relatives.

“The nomination is rewarding enough. Thank you.”