Meet Liverpool's NHS Heroes: Royal Liverpool Hospital nurse Edna gives us an insight into life on the COVID wards - The Guide Liverpool

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Meet Liverpool’s NHS Heroes: Royal Liverpool Hospital nurse Edna gives us an insight into life on the COVID wards


We’ve clapped on our doorsteps, put rainbows in the window and been grateful for every one of our NHS this year.

They really have shown just how amazing they are in 2020. Staff have made extraordinary sacrifices and put themselves, their own lives and health, at risk to save others.

We can’t overestimate just how vital their efforts have been since the pandemic began, and especially those who’ve kept our hospitals operating in incredibly difficult times. 

As the year comes to an end, we look back on how NHS staff across our Liverpool City Region hospital have coped, their experience of working on the frontline, their plans for Christmas and hopes for 2021 …

Yesterday we profiled the great work of Emily McGuffie who is a Ward Sister at Broadgreen Hospital. Today we move to the Royal to meet Edna Panambo.

Edna Panambo has spent two decades working at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. When she first joined the Trust back in 2000, moving from her home in the Philippines to Liverpool, Edna was one of the first Filipino nurses to work in the hospital’s A&E.

This year has had many highs and lows for Edna; one where she was awarded the Royal College of Nursing Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Health and Social Care award, and promoted from Senior Sister to Matron in the Emergency Department, but also a year spent working on the frontline, caring for patients with COVID-19.

“Dealing with COVID-19 has been really challenging, especially at the start of the pandemic. Getting used to having to wear all of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was hard, it was heavy and often uncomfortable, but it’s just our ‘new normal’ now. 

“I do miss being able to hug my colleagues. Giving a hug was a simple but effective thing to be able to do, especially if someone was feeling low or stressed, or having cared for a really poorly patient. However it’s what’s best to do, to keep everyone as safe as possible.”

For Edna especially, being Filipino she is at an increased risk of falling ill from COVID: “At the start of the year you would hear of Filipino and other BAME nurses being affected by the virus and falling seriously ill, so I was really scared. But being a nurse is what I do, so even though I was scared, I just made sure I was always following the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidance and strict with my PPE. It’s been really tough. I get home and only after I’ve had a shower I see my girls.”

This Christmas, Edna was planning on flying back to the Philippines to visit her family, but due to the COVID restrictions, her trip has been postponed.

The following video featured Edna and was filmed in Christmas 2019.

“Instead I am spending Christmas day at home this year with my daughters who have just returned home from university. It will be special to spend time with them, as usually I have worked nights during Christmas week.

“My hope for 2021 is that we will be in a safer position for all and we can get back to a sense of normality. I hope that I will be able to have my trip to the Philippines!”

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