Nicki Credland

University critical care boss answers some of the biggest questions surrounding COVID-19

Nicki Credland is a senior lecturer at the University of Hull, and Head of Department of Paramedical, Perioperative and Advanced Practice.

She is also chair of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses.

Nicki has become a leading media spokeswoman for critical care nurses and frontline NHS staff across the UK in recent weeks. She has appeared on BBC national news, Sky News, as well as national titles ranging from The Independent and Sunday Times to the Daily Mail and Telegraph.

Nicki recently chatted to the Hull Daily Mail and answered some of their questions on COVID-19. Here’s what she had to say:

Why do we need to social distance?

Social distancing prevents the spread of infection. It means that less people will get sick, less people will require hospital treatment, therefore protecting the NHS. It is vitally important at this time that we listen to the advice of the Government, listen to the science, and remain isolated as much as possible. 

How many people are currently infected in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire?

At the time of writing this, official figures show 112 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Hull.

In the East Riding of Yorkshire, that figure stood at 204 as of April 13.

Are you surprised by how many young people are affected?

No, absolutely not, this is an indiscriminate virus. It can affect anyone irrespective of age.

Do you expect to get Coronavirus?

None of us want to contract COVID-19. I am following all social distancing advice, so my risk is therefore reduced. That is the most any of us can do.

How worried should we be?

We should be worried enough to absolutely follow the social distancing advice. This virus is killing people all over the world. Taking appropriate precautions will reduce this risk.

What is the current impact of COVID-19 on our frontline NHS services?

NHS staff are seeing a huge increase in the numbers of seriously ill patients, some who require intensive care, admitted to hospitals nationwide.

This is a stressful and complex environment to work in. Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are working long hours, with very sick patients, dealing with a killer virus.

They are looking after patients who sadly die and trying to support them and their families. They are inevitably scared for themselves, their families and friends and need support now and in the future.

The Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has drawn up a plan ahead of an expected surge in cases this weekend – what are your thoughts on this?

Surge planning has been in place for many weeks now. These follow national and indeed international guidance and enables NHS Trusts to manage a complex situation as safely and effectively as possible.

How touching has it been to see the minute-long clap every Thursday for our key workers?

Extremely touching. NHS staff are working under immense pressure at the moment. Our keyworkers are keeping the country moving. Anything that shows support of them is very positive. 

How long will we feel the impact of Coronavirus on our lives?

I think we will feel the effects of this pandemic for many months and indeed years to come. The psychological impact on staff and patients, the economic impact and the impact in general of us all trying to get back to some sense of normality.

Are there lessons to be learned from this pandemic?

As a critical care nurse, I hope that we see a greater understanding of critical care, the technicality of the environment and the requirement for expert highly-trained nurses and doctors.

I also think we need to respect those key workers who are often on a low wage but have been the backbone of this country over this pandemic.

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