Trainee doctors across the trust are being celebrated for their remarkable transformation in response to COVID-19. More than 400 trainee doctors were redeployed at very short notice, with a new shift pattern developed to meet our hospitals’ new demands. Throughout the redeployment, they maintained their emphasis on balancing clinical skill sets and ensuring that different groups of doctors were given the opportunity to work regularly together.

Professor Aine Burns, director of postgraduate medical education at the Royal Free Hospital, said: “Sadly, this crisis will be remembered by many people as the worst of times.  For me, however, a silver lining was the enormous pride I felt as I watched our trainee doctors step up to the plate, finding and solving problems with brilliance, hard work, ingenuity and good humour. I am sure their contributions saved many lives. The future for patients must surely be bright.”

Spearheading these efforts was the postgraduate medical education COVID-19 task force, pictured, who came together to manage the postgraduate medical education centre’s COVID-19 response and ensure that they could quickly redeploy their medical staff and adjust shift patterns.

Sarah Davis, a trainee doctor in internal medicine, said: “"We were thrown in the deep end being asked to redesign medical staffing and organise a rota in 48 hours for 180 doctors.

“It was a fast learning curve but we had a great team working together, and ensured we added a bit of fun to the new rota allocating doctors to Harry Potter houses. Seeing the team working so well together across different specialities and grades, with a lovely atmosphere, during such a difficult time and with so much upheaval, made all the hard work worthwhile.”

The task force also helped daily in the operations room, and with many other vital activities: mortuary and bereavement services; oxygen supplies, scrubs and PPE availability; supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of all staff and even recycling of Oxygen masks. Professor Aine Burns added: “no task was too small or too big to tackle.”