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M5 crash sister praised

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The sister in charge of the critical care unit at the hospital which recveived victims of the crash on the M5 motorway in November has been recognised for her calm professionalism during the crisis.

Sixteen patients were admitted to Musgrove Park Hospital in Somerset with a range of trauma injuries, following the pile up involving 34 vehicles. In total seven people died and 51 were injured.

Sister Sara Stuckey, who has worked at the hospital for 13 years, received five separate nominations for its “employee of the month” award from staff in the critical care and endoscopy departments. All commended her for the role she played in caring for patients who had been involved in the M5 accident.

Clinical lead for the critical care unit, Dr Nicholas Kennedy, said: “Sara’s calm and professional approach to co-ordinating the unit was exceptional. The fact that our hospital coped so well throughout this major incident was in no small way down to Sara.”

The hospital, which has around 700 beds, declared a major incident following the crash on 4 November. Many off-duty staff volunteered to come in and help.

Consultant anaesthetist Helene Lindsay said: “Many people worked very hard on the night of the accident and there was real teamwork throughout the hospital. During the night, Sara was her usual calm and efficient self; she communicated and co-ordinated with people throughout the hospital and made it very easy for staff to focus on giving the best care to every patient that came through the door, and their relatives, as well as the patients we already had in the unit.”

Ms Stuckey said: “I was totally shocked and amazed when I found out I had won employee of the month. The whole team who worked that night, and throughout the following few days, were fantastic.

“I feel very privileged in receiving this award and would like to thank my nominators and the critical care team who worked with me at that time.”

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