The healthcare heroes: Life during a pandemic and beyond | Meet Kat

Here, Kat Duda, Quality Matron at HCA UK at University College Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK, talks about how the global pandemic changed her role.

What did a typical day look like for you before the pandemic?

I’ve been working at HCA Healthcare UK for over 10 years now and in that time, I’ve had many roles - from healthcare assistant and staff nurse to day care sister and most recently as quality matron.  

In my role as quality matron, I am focused on making sure we continuously improve the quality of our services and patient experience. This means constantly reviewing feedback from our patients and creating specific action plans in line with this feedback. Sometimes it’s about ensuring we have effectively communicated with patients so that we can successfully manage their expectations and care - this can be anything from accommodation and catering to more clinical areas of care.  

As part of my role, I also review policies and procedures to make sure we are always complying with regulatory standards of care.  

Did your role change during the COVID-19 pandemic?

COVID-19 really turned my role upside down. Our focus was on making sure patients could continue to access care safely, as well as supporting each other as colleagues. Because some of the team were shielding, I temporarily moved back into a day care nurse role. I already had that clinical experience and had maintained my nursing competencies so it was a good fit - I administered chemotherapy and managed staff bookings to ensure we could maintain care for patients. 

My hours also changed to include weekend work and I also helped support the clinical matron and Chief Nursing Officer. Safety was one of the most important parts of my role. I helped make sure everyone was up to date with policy changes, completed risk-assessments for the unit and created pathways for staff and patient safety. 

Watch this short video to learn more about the way HCA Healthcare UK has adapted the way healthcare is provided in its hospitals and clinics.