Consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon
Paddy joined the Royal Free London in 2019 – previously he was a locum consultant and had worked at the RFL as a registrar. At the beginning of 2020 he was appointed as the Barnet site trauma lead.
He said: “What attracted me to working at the Royal Free London was the new elective orthopaedic centre at Chase Farm Hospital, which is now the designated elective orthopaedic centre for North Central London. For me being part of somewhere which has a high volume of patients is ideal and then Barnet Hospital is a big centre in terms of trauma procedures so I have the best of both worlds. Plus having worked here as a registrar I knew how supportive the culture was. My colleagues are like my second family – there’s a great level of trust between us.
“At the height of the pandemic as Barnet Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital filled up with COVID patients our trauma patients were sent to Stanmore and all the consultants, including myself, were supporting in ITU, including being part of the proning team’ for our patients. It felt good to be able to help.
“I was still organising the trauma rotas but we didn’t re-start trauma at the Royal Free Hospital until the start of November. That meant a lot of staff had to work across multiple sites during this pandemic. I appreciate it could be quite disruptive to their routine practice – especially if they only lived two minutes from the Royal Free Hospital - but everyone pulled together and demonstrated great team spirit. There was a Whats App group for the wider team from the surgeons to the HCAs in the service and we had weekly on-line meetings open to everyone and that access to information was absolutely crucial in keeping us informed and united as we were all finding our way.
“We’re now continuing to work together extremely effectively as a unit to make sure patients get their surgery. We’re working extra lists, working at theatre capacity – we’ve opened up the fourth barn theatre at Chase Farm Hospital - and doing everything we can to try to clear the backlog of people waiting for their hip and knee replacements. Waiting lists have skyrocketed across the country as a result of the pandemic. There’s a real camaraderie and even though there’s still a lot of people still waiting for their operations I do feel we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”