Nicki Credland joins health workers to record Christmas single for NHS

Nicki Credland has joined 100 health workers from across the country to record a Christmas single and raise funds to support the NHS.

Nicki, Head of Department of Paramedical, Perioperative and Advanced Practice at the University of Hull, teamed up with intensive care staff to record a remake of classic Police hit ‘Every Breath You Take.’

As well as vying for the coveted number one spot at Christmas, the single will raise vital money to support NHS staff recovery after the challenging 2020 year.

Nicki said: “As Chair of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses, I am very conscious of how traumatic the last year has been for those working on ICU.

“We all have needed to look for ways to improve our wellbeing and self-care.

“Singing in this choir has not only done that in spades, but also produced a fantastic song as a tribute to ICU staff all over the world.”

Known as the ICU Liberty Singers, the choir began life as an attempt to bring some fun and respite to ICU workers after the toughest year in the profession’s history.

Choir members include ICU staff such as nurses, doctors and allied health professionals, all of who have been working on the frontline of healthcare during COVID-19.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Nicki has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

In April, Nicki was appointed to lead vital COVID-19 training at Harrogate’s NHS Nightingale Hospital, as she assumed the position of Lead Critical Care Nurse Educator.

The role saw Nicki play a crucial role in the development and delivery of training for hundreds of critical care nurses responding to COVID-19.

Outside of her role at Harrogate’s Nightingale Hospital, Nicki was also earlier this year appointed as a specialist advisor to NHS England, on the subject of critical care nursing.

Nicki will advise on new national policies and guidelines drawn up across a wide range of areas, from infection control and end-of-life care, to hospital visiting hours.

Nicki took on these two significant roles, playing a vital role in the country’s response to COVID-19, at the same time as leading her University department through a rapid transition to online teaching.

Allam Medical Building
University of Hull Health, Nursing and Midwifery students outside of the Allam Medical Building

As more data emerges, it is now clear that around one in ten people who catch COVID-19 end up needing hospital treatment. Of those, around one third end up in ICU.

While the country has had varying degrees of lockdown to contend with, the relentless pace of caring for the most seriously affected has not changed hugely for ICU staff and now they face going in to winter – traditionally hugely challenging in a normal year – with a second wave hitting hard.

Working on the basis that music and singing are immensely relaxing for the mind, Choir Director Kari Olsen Porthouse contacted Dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, Dr Alison Pittard and offered to run a pop-up choir – with four singing sessions and a remote recording of one of the songs.

Kari said: “Singing is immensely powerful for helping establish and maintain good mental health – but something really special happens when we sing together and the effect is even more powerful.

“There is a sense of belonging, and a sense of a team working to deliver something beautiful.

“That perfectly captures the strength and teamwork of ICU staff this year and the chance to give them something back and recognise their phenomenal efforts is a privilege.”

The 100-strong choir includes ICU staff from every region. The group ‘met’ for the first time, on Zoom, on 25 November, and had an hour of hilarity, singing a range of songs.

Since then, legal permission has been granted by SONY ATV, which owns the rights to ‘Every Breath You Take (I’ll Be Watching You)’ and the opportunity to release the song took shape.

The remade track comprises 223 individual vocal recordings sung by the choir members, recorded in their own homes and then blended to create a ‘virtual choir.’

The single, due to be released on 18 December, will be available for download and streaming through the usual channels.

The group are hoping to take on Liam Gallagher, Jess Glynne and Robbie Williams in a bid for the top spot.

All money raised will go to create a fund, managed through the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, to provide support for staff that they feel will have a positive impact on their wellbeing and mental health after an extraordinarily impactful year.

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