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Hospital chaplain with coronavirus symptoms tells of crisis challenge on wards

PUBLISHED: 08:31 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:11 30 March 2020

The patient left the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Thursday before his positive test results for coronavirus came back. Photo: NNUH

The patient left the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Thursday before his positive test results for coronavirus came back. Photo: NNUH

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The leading chaplain at a Norfolk hospital has shared the challenges to provide support for patients and staff in the wake of coronavirus, as he himself has developed symptoms.

The Rev Adrian Woodbridge, head of chaplaincy at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, spoke to BBC Norfolk over the weekend about the ways the team were adapting to provide a service as he confirmed he was self-isolating.

The chaplaincy service supports patients, their families and staff, and Mr Woodbridge said had had to come up with “creative” ways to continue its support as it was unable to get onto wards.

Read more: Coronavirus: Norfolk deaths up to 10 as figure in England passes 1,000

Mr Woodbridge said: “It has been really interesting and really challenging, the way we do chaplaincy has had to morph daily as things change.

“Some of our team are working from home because they have underlying health issues, we now have a pastoral care line that is working from home that staff and patients can ring to. We are having to come up with creative ways that can allow staff to minister in end of life issues and giving them all the stuff that they need, but also the option to do that over the phone as well so we are having to think quite creatively about care.

“For the chaplains and for the whole hospital you just to see the hearts of people there, committed and caring, the thing that brought them into the NHS in the first place. Their values all come to the fore.”

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