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Critical care on the frontline and pivotal research

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Dr Tamas Szakmany MBE received an honour for services to the NHS during Covid-19

Critical care consultant at Royal Gwent Hospital Dr Tamas Szakmany was made an MBE after he led the response of the Welsh Critical Care Network during the pandemic. He looked after 50 patients, doubling his normal clinical time spent at the bedside.

On top of this, Dr Szakmany, 44, from Newport, South Wales, spent hours on conference calls, online tutorials and webinars to share his experience of working in ICU and rapidly built up a research programme. He also took part in the Oxford vaccine trial.

The last thing he expected was to be honoured for his work, so he was surprised to get the email informing him of his MBE. “I was completely astonished, touched and humbled. I thought I was doing my job like everybody else. I didn’t think for one minute it would result in this,” he says. “Once I was allowed to talk about it, the first thing I said was how fortunate I was to work with

this team: the clinical and managerial team, the civil servants and the research team at my hospital and across the UK. 2020 was difficult profession­ally. Personally, I had many successes. It was a double-edged sword. The MBE is recognitio­n for the enormous effort everyone has made to get us through the first wave and I hope we have similar success again.

“We will get through this together. I ask the public to stay at home. If you do go out, wear a mask and keep your distance. When it is offered, have the vaccine.”

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