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Tauranga woman thanks “angels and heroes”

Andrea Crawford thanked the “angels and heroes” at Baypark’s COVID-19 assessment centre for their care. Supplied photos.

“I am just one of thousands, but I did not feel like I was, I felt cared for,” says one Tauranga woman of her treatment at a Bay of Plenty COVID-19 assessment centre.

Andrea Crawford was recently struck down with flu-like symptoms and was told by her GP to visit the Baypark COVID-19 assessment centre for further testing. She said her experience there was one of seeing “humanity at its best”.

“I’d been ill for about 10 days, I hadn’t been sleeping well either and so by the time I got to Baypark I was emotionally pretty shattered to be honest.

“I thought there would be a wait and I was expecting to be seen by a lot of extremely tired and stressed out medical staff. And they may well be tired and stressed out but you wouldn’t know it; they were so professional, calm and caring, and I just want to say thank you and give them the recognition they deserve.”

Andrea, who works as an administrator for an I.T. company, said her praise extended to all those working at the assessment centres not just the medical staff.

“There was this woman who I just spent time watching in awe. She was everywhere. She took people to the toilets, she kept an eye on sick people, she got water to hot patients, she kept things moving, but she did it with compassion and skill, kindness and professionalism. The medical staff could not have done their jobs so well without such a great support crew and that includes the Security Team.

“Somehow the message I was alone and unwell was passed along, and I kept getting updates. At one stage one of the Security Team came up to me and said: ‘We know you’re not well so if you feel worse at any stage, beep and flash your lights and we’ll come and get you and get you to someone.’ That compassionate communication, letting you know what’s going on, just gives you peace of mind.”

Andrea, whose COVID-19 test has come back negative, says the doctor she saw picked up that she had an unrelated chest infection.

“It was humanity at its best, from the people at the front gate telling you where to go, all the way through to the very end when the doctor said ‘You’re going to be ok’. Thank you to your team of angels and heroes.”

The assessment centre at Baypark.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board Community Based Health Services Lead Dr Joe Bourne thanks Andrea for her kind words.

“We’re so glad Andrea had such a great experience. It’s a wonderful reflection on, and recognition of, the people working on the frontline who are doing their utmost to provide the best care they can for the communities we serve.

“Although our assessment centres have been set up very swiftly to respond to COVID-19 we have been really focussed on ensuring the service provided is a quality one which includes a good patient experience.

“The assessment centres have been a collaboration between organisations and people from across the health sector, including the  DHB, PHOs (primary health organisations), and GPs. Clinical and non-clinical staff have come together as one team and we’re delighted that this has translated into such a good experience for Andrea. Her comments echo those of other grateful patients at the centres and we thank her and them for their appreciation, it’s lovely to receive such feedback.”

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