Imam and Muslim Chaplain at The Royal London Hospital, Shaykh Ahmad Faruq Siddiqi has received the Unsung Hero Award at the Intensive Care Society national annual awards.
Nominated by his peers, Faruq received the award for being a valuable member of our intensive care team and a vital link in the chain that binds clinical teams to patients and their families.
Over the past year, The Royal London’s adult critical care unit more than tripled capacity to look after around 700 patients with Covid-19. At the peak of the second wave, the hospital was caring for 157 patients requiring critical care.
With 38% of the Tower Hamlets community Muslim, many patients cared for were of Muslim faith. Faruq worked closely with nursing and medical teams to help address the spiritual needs of our patients; saying prayers at the bedside, talking with those able to do so, and organising Quran cubes (small battery powered speakers which play recitations of the Quran). For those at the end of life, Faruq was able to ensure religious observances were followed.
Through his advocacy for patients and their families, Faruq worked closely with our bereavement service and community groups, helping ensure the smooth administration of death certification, registration and funerals.
Andrew Leitch, clinical lead for critical care and intensivist at The Royal London Hospital said: “Every member of our critical care team has a tale to tell of tensions diffused, relatives reassured, and truly holistic care provided by Faruq.
“During the pandemic peaks he worked tirelessly, patiently and calmly. He was in the hospital almost every day and at all hours of the day and night, and above all worked with quiet humour.”
On receiving the award, Faruq said: “I am humbled and honoured. It’s a blessing working in Barts Health and doing something I love, supporting and serving people.
“The award by extension recognises the important role of spiritual care and I’m grateful for all the support received from everyone at Barts Health, of whom so many are unsung heroes who have demonstrated dedication and compassion to provide holistic care in this extremely challenging year.”
The awards were held virtually on 8 June during Intensive Care Week to recognise the outstanding contributions of intensive care professionals. Student nurse Liam Cavanagh, who worked in the family liaison team at The Royal London and the trust’s pharmacy team were also shortlisted in the awards.