Loving care for Sunderland’s most seriously ill patients

Integrated Critical Care Unit staff nurse Annette Fox.
Integrated Critical Care Unit staff nurse Annette Fox.

An expert at caring for critically ill patients has welcomed the brand new Sunderland Echo Best of Health Awards.

Annette Fox is a staff nurse in the Integrated Critical Care Unit which has 80 staff. Around 13 of them will be on duty at any one time.

Integrated Critical Care Unit staff nurse Annette Fox.

Integrated Critical Care Unit staff nurse Annette Fox.

And today, she told how the awards were an important competition for the Wearside area.

She said the unit won a title two years ago and she said: “It is something that we can strive towards. It is that recognition.”

That ICCU team can handle a maximum workload of 18 patients.

“We either look after high dependency patients or critically ill patients, and we care for their needs,” said Annette.

We either look after high dependency patients or critically ill patients, and we care for their needs. We can see a patient who has a very poor prognosis and a few days later, you are discharging them to the wards

Annette Fox

“We can see a patient who has a very poor prognosis and a few days later, you are discharging them to the wards. We get to deal with the person and their families.”

The care for the patient, said Annette, can be “one to one or one to two care.

“We get to know the patients and we have the time to spend with them.”

The unit handles patients in an area which includes Durham and as far as Newcastle. Annette added: “We take people from all over. If the other units are full, it is part of our network.”

Integrated Critical Care Unit staff nurse Annette Fox with team

Integrated Critical Care Unit staff nurse Annette Fox with team

Annette has been a staff nurse for 12 years and hails from Glasgow. She qualified and joined Sunderland Royal where she has been for all of those 12 years.

First, she worked as a theatre nurse and said: “I was there for three years before I moved to intensive care nine years ago.

“I loved it when I came here.”

Sponsors for this year’s awards are South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, mydentist, and NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group.

As the Best of Health Awards get under way once more, we want to find excellence in all aspects of health care.

Whether it is doctors, nurses, dentists or other health professionals, we want entries in all categories of this year’s competition.

To nominate, just send your name, address and telephone number, as well as your email address, if applicable. Remember to include the category you are putting your nominated cause into.

Also send the name of the person you wish to nominate, along with their address, telephone number and email (if known).

Send all of that to Lynn Wild by no later than Friday, April 7.

Email those entries to lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk or send them to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland,DH4 5RA.

The categories;

Let’s start with those where we will be choosing two winners, one for Sunderland and one for South Tyneside.

l GP of the Year.

l Hospital Doctor of the Year.

l Nurse of the Year.

l Dental Practice of the Year/ Dentist of the Year.

l Optometrist of the Year.

l Therapist of the Year.

l Midwife of the year.

l Customer Service/

Unsung Hero of the

Year.

l Long-term achievement.

There will be one winner – covering all areas – chosen in the following categories.

l Care Worker of the Year.

l Pharmacist of the Year.

l Dental nurse of the Year.

And there is one category where a winner will be chosen for South Tyneside only.

l Community nurse of the Year.