Our healthcare heroes | Life during a pandemic and beyond: meet Lisa

Lisa Offord, surgical services manager at London Bridge Hospital, transferred from HCA in the US in February 2020.

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

I have been working in surgical services for over 30 years - in the NHS, in the USA for HCA and now at London Bridge Hospital. I had only been in the role for three weeks prior to the UK lockdown being announced due to COVID-19, so I couldn’t accurately tell you what a "normal" day is – but when I joined, my role was to manage business operations and clinical practices in theatre, catheter labs, central sterile and recovery. I manage a large surgical services department and support the team to carry out their role effectively and deliver the highest clinical care to our patients. 

Did your role change during the COVID-19 pandemic?

During the pandemic we adapted our processes so that we could still provide surgical care to those whose conditions were time critical. This involved introducing new clinical pathways such as wearing specialist PPE during surgical procedures. We also ensure that every patient who comes into surgery has had their COVID-19 swab and their results have come back negative before we operate, to ensure that London Bridge Hospital remains a safe environment for patients.  

Were you required to train or work in different areas during this time?

When you start a new job, in a different country, there’s so much to learn and so much information to soak up. But here, because of the extra safety measures which were put in place, due to the pandemic I was also required to learn how to do completely new things. Things that I hadn’t done in any of my previous workplaces.   

What are the positive things you’ve taken from working during a global pandemic?

I can honestly say I’ve never learnt so much in such a short space of time. It has definitely been a whirlwind the last few months, but by working in these challenging situations, it really helps you to get to know your team. I am incredibly proud of the efforts of everyone at London Bridge Hospital, and especially my team, for adapting and adjusting to new processes and safety procedures. While also having a new manager (me!).
 It has been a learning curve and a rollercoaster ride, but we’ve managed to help so many patients in the last few months whose care would have otherwise been delayed. Which is an amazing feeling. 
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.  
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