Former critical care nurse joins QEQM team and urges others to return to frontline care

Debbie is returning to critical care

A former critical care nurse consultant is going back to frontline nursing at QEQM Hospital in Margate amid the coronavirus outbreak – and is encouraging others to do the same.

Debbie Higgs retired from clinical work a year ago, and is now working as a clinical lead on the Sunrise new electronic health record project across East Kent Hospitals.

But as the Trust prepares to care for more of the sickest patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are showing symptoms, she volunteered to help out her old team.

Debbie, who will be working in the Critical Care Unit at  QEQM, said: “It really wasn’t a difficult decision to go back.

“The team are fantastic and they want to encourage people to come back to help. They are making me feel very welcome and comfortable.”

Debbie spent 19 years working clinically but said there is training available for people with less experience.

She said: “Nationally and locally the critical care community have developed resource packages to support both non critical care staff and those coming back into the specialism after a break. The team are so pleased to see you and so supportive.

“Go back and help if you can. Don’t be scared. My experience is that you should not be worried.We will all have to keep the momentum going but if we work together and support each other we can do this.”

Clinicians who have not practised for some time can find out more about how to return to the NHS at

Anyone with critical care experience who can help locally is asked to email [email protected]


  1. I used to work in itu at the QEQMH, leaving 8 years ago to work in primary care, which is where i still work, if i can help at all, i will ask my employers to release me for some hours.

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