When the pandemic hit Barts hospitals went from welcoming hundreds of family members each day to only allowing staff and patients through the doors.
To support patients and their families when Covid put a stop to visitations, Barts Health community engagement lead Abbas Mirza worked alongside Louise Hicks from the Trust to create an informal community group which met weekly via Zoom allowing fears and questions related to healthcare in Covid times to be raised. Word quickly spread, and before they knew 68 members were logging on every week.
Two years on, the group are still meeting and exploring topics beyond Covid-19, including engaging new Trust projects and strategies, and how to reduce the waiting lists for elective care. They’re also working with the Trust to build on lessons learnt during the pandemic, which has led to a new Somali patient engagement officer being appointed to the Trust.