Banbury hospital campaign group organises cooling refreshments for sweltering intensive care staff

Campaign group Keep the Horton General has teamed up with two Banburyshire businesses to keep the Horton Hospital's intensive care staff cool during the coronavirus crisis.

By Roseanne Edwards
Monday, 11th May 2020, 3:14 pm
Dr Robbie Kerry, consultant anaesthetist at the Horton intensive care unit, takes delivery of the first batch of ices and water from Morrisons community champion, Mandy Merry
Dr Robbie Kerry, consultant anaesthetist at the Horton intensive care unit, takes delivery of the first batch of ices and water from Morrisons community champion, Mandy Merry

The group has been able to provide the unit with a fridge freezer which has been donated by O'Gorman's Electrical of Bicester and filled with ice creams and bottles of water by Morrisons, Banbury.

And Keep the Horton General has pledged to keep the freezer filled for the duration of the coronavirus emergency.

KTHG deputy chairman and press officer Charlotte Bird said: "We wanted to do something to help those on the front-line at the Horton and asked the intensive care unit how we could help.

Andrew O'Gorman and Dan O'Gorman who donated the fridge freezer to the Horton's intensive care unit

"They said a freezer with ice creams would be great because the personal protective equipment they wear gets so hot. But what we didn't realise was that the shops had sold out of under-counter freezers because of the food shortage scare."

The group put out an appeal on Banburyshire Info Facebook site and received huge support from the community. Supporter Sandra McDermott liaised with O'Gormans of Bicester who not only had a suitable fridge freezer but offered to donate it free of charge.

Then the Morrisons Community Champion team offered to supply the first 300 ices and bottles of sparkling water to fill the appliance as their donation. The refreshments will be shared among the staff of the emergency assessment unit and others contributing to the team effort at the Horton.

Consultant anaesthetist Dr Robbie Kerry said: "We are blown away by the kindness and generosity of our local community. We feel so loved and supported.

The new fridge freezer loaded with ice lollies for staff in the Horton's intensive care unit

"We are glad to have the PPE to keep us safe but wearing full PPE for a few hours is hot and exhausting work, so the supply of cool drinks and an ice cream, is such a welcome relief."

A department sister, writing on the official KTHG Facebook page said: "We are so thankful and appreciative of such a thoughtful donation. The PPE equipment is very hot and claustrophobic so to have access to cold drinks and ice lollies will be so lovely afterwards."

The Morrisons community champion team has also donated 75 care packages for National Nurses' Day to the hospital and on Friday sent out 60 VE Day packs for some of the town's senior citizens - including some 'vintage' style sweets.

Mrs Bird said: "Keep the Horton General is absolutely delighted to support the ICU team at the Horton. Our front-line workers are doing the most incredible job

"For us to be able to provide a small bit of relief in the form of a fridge/freezer that can store ice creams, lollies and cold drinks is the very least we can do. Everyone has seen and heard how difficult working in PPE is and the toll it is taking day after day. If we can alleviate the pressure of those onerous conditions, just for a few minutes, then we are very pleased to have facilitated that."