You are all making a difference

I WOULD like to start my latest notes by wishing everyone a Happy Easter.

If anything makes us sit and ponder about how things have changed in our lives at the moment with the Coronavirus pandemic then this weekend perhaps sums everything up. It is a time many of us book in our calendars early and use the holiday to get a well earned few days rest, organise family events and get togethers and unwind with our friends.

As we all know we can’t do that at the moment and for many of us we are treating this as very much a normal working weekend because of the situation facing us. I want to thank everyone who has given up their time to come in and work this Bank Holiday weekend because every single person here will make a difference to the care we are able to deliver to our patients.

Every day I am hearing stories and seeing pictures on our social media sites of how staff are going above and beyond to help their patients and it gives me immense pride to see staff being so professional and compassionate in this really difficult period. I am also humbled by the way all staff in our Trust have responded to the situation and are supporting one another.

The care was encapsulated by the story of William Dobie, a 90-year-old patient who was discharged from BVH after contracting Coronavirus. He appeared in the local newspapers, BBC Radio Lancashire and both BBC and ITV news programmes and he could not have been more appreciative of the care he received.

Some of his comments about staff included:

“I now know it is not a job. It is a vocation and it shines through. Their helpfulness, their kindness, their love all shone through. Nothing was a problem for the doctors or the nurses and I give them my undying admiration. The put their lives on the line all the time and not everyone really appreciates that. What a sacrifice they make.’’

There are so many aspects of the pandemic that are new to us – suspension of visiting; working from home; perhaps doing a different job temporarily – but it seems that everyone is determined to do their bit and our patients and communities are grateful for that.

Please don’t forget that your mental and emotional health and wellbeing is just as important as your physical health. I think most of you reading this would agree this is a pretty stressful time and is highly likely to get more so. Thank you too to our occupational health and health and wellbeing teams and our chaplaincy team who I know are working flat out to support the workforce and please, please don’t be afraid to use any of the services on offer. The message from me is that it is very definitely “OK to not be OK.’’

Once again, thank you each and every one of you from myself and the Board. You are all heroes.

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