MA, MBBS, FRCS(ORL-HNS),
Editor, ENT & Audiology News;
Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon,
Wexham Park Hospital,
Slough, Berkshire, UK.
When I sat down to write my introductory welcome piece two months ago, the UK was on the brink of the surge of coronavirus cases. We were very fearful that the NHS would be overwhelmed, and that hospitals would simply not cope. There was then a huge mobilisation of resources – ranging from increasing ITU capacity (my own hospital, for example, increased its capacity for ventilated patients five-fold) through to building entirely new ‘Nightingale’ hospitals. And although the number of cases was huge, the hospitals were thankfully not overwhelmed. Having said this, other sectors (for example, care homes) have seen devastating effects, and no doubt these will be the topic of much political discussion in the months ahead.
One of the striking things about the response to the pandemic has been the desire of the public to ‘do something’ to help. Communities have been brought closer together and the mutual assistance has been wonderful to see. In the ENT world, commercial companies have been extremely keen to help out – whether with technological expertise, or manufacturing, or logistics. Here at ENT & Audiology News, we have been humbled by the response of many of our commercial supporters, who have gone above and beyond to help us out.
For Jul/Aug we bring together a number of articles that look at COVID-19 from a variety of different standpoints. Please read Gareth’s introduction to our feature articles.
Elsewhere, we have two wonderful pieces of news to report relating to our friends and contributors: firstly, Shahed Quraishi has been awarded the prestigious AAO-HNSF Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Public Service Award. And secondly, Jo Rimmer has been elevated to the status of a Clinical Associate Professor. You can read more on these in the Newsround section.
We have a change in the editorial team to report: ENT Trainee Matters Editor, Natasha Amiraraghi, is stepping aside. We are enormously grateful to her for all her hard work in this role. Stepping into those shoes, we welcome Rujuta Roplekar Bance, Specialist Registrar at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
If you have visited our website recently, you will know that we have a dedicated COVID page for the latest updates and useful resources.
Lucy Dalton’s Experience on the frontline is a fantastic feature updated twice a week – she has been conducting a run of mini interviews with ENT and audiology colleagues around the country, discussing the effects of the pandemic on their work and home life.
Finally, we learned a few weeks ago of the tragic death of Prof David Moffat. He was an immensely highly respected skull base surgeon, and his friend and colleague, Prof Richard Ramsden, pays tribute to him.