Well done and thank you to our Crawley Day Surgery Unit (CDSU) team who last week moved back to Crawley Hospital after being redeployed to East Surrey Hospital in March this year to help with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) effort.

At the beginning of the first wave of the pandemic, the CDSU team were redeployed to various areas across East Surrey Hospital, including intensive care (ICU), theatres, anaesthetics and the emergency department.

With just a day and a half to clear the unit at Crawley Hospital, the staff came together to make sure all essential equipment was taken to East Surrey Hospital and anything else packed away.

Carlos Miras, ward manager, said: “It was a time of uncertainty because we didn’t have all of the answers and we ended up being the first ones redeployed to ICU.

“Staff were naturally anxious, but also very resilient. They focussed on why they chose to be nurses and cared for those who needed it. The team stepped up to support the ICU staff and other teams wherever needed. They really lived the One Team value. They were outstanding. It has been a privilege to watch the team shine.”

The CDSU team at Crawley Hospital


The team responded and adapted quickly to working in an unfamiliar hospital, taking on the emotional and physical challenges. They rapidly responded to the changing work environment, new shift patterns as well as not working with their team members.

Carlos Miras said: “It was very strange not working with the team we’ve been a part of for so long, but we were grateful for the support we received. I remember one day in ICU the chaplain came and we all started praying together and it was very moving. I think we’re going to be talking about COVID for years to come.”

Many members of staff went above and beyond, including Lee Farmer, materials controller, who made sure any remaining stock at Crawley Hospital was regularly checked and sent to East Surrey Hospital before it expired.

Carlos Miras said: “I want to thank Lee for being proactive and initiating the organisation of our stock. From day one, Lee and the rest of the team have been living the SASH+ values, using lean methodology to reduce waste.”

Since March, the theatres in the CDSU have been rewired and parts of the unit have been upgraded with bright, new corridors and theatre lighting. Now that this work is complete, the CDSU is open for business again and the team have started to receive patients.

Claire Ziegler, matron for CDSU said: “I would personally like to share my immense gratitude for all the sacrifices and hard work the CDSU staff have shown over the last eight months. A number of them have been moved to different areas more than once.

“They have all demonstrated a high level of professionalism and resilience in what has been an extremely difficult time for all staff within the NHS. I am delighted that the CDSU team are back together in order to resume delivering our high standards of patient care from our Crawley base.”

Carlos Miras said: “I’m very proud to be a member of this team. I’m proud of everything they have achieved during COVID-19. Joining this team has been the best decision of my career.”

Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive, said: “Many of our teams have shown extraordinary flexibility and resilience in recent months and the Crawley CDSU team are an excellent example of that. I am so grateful for everything they have done. As a Trust we have been working really hard to continue planned operations, and now that work has been completed at Crawley we have more space to help us to do that which is great news for patients. I would like to thank everyone who worked hard to enable us to return.”