A second letter of thanks has been sent to the households of our staff, from Chair Mike Bell and Chief Executive Tony Chambers, as staff continue to work in unprecedented circumstances.
Due to land on the doormat any day is a letter recognising the very difficult conditions faced, not only by our staff, but also by their loved ones, throughout this pandemic.
Nine months on from the first letter of thanks, this one highlights how tough things have been, but also offers some hope with mention of the Covid vaccination programme.
The full letter can be read below.
To all the relatives, loved ones and friends of the staff who work at Queen’s and King George Hospitals
We never imagined when a letter was sent to you last April that we’d be in touch again, nine months later, and Covid-19 would still be dominating and damaging our lives.
You may have been sick; you will know those who have suffered at the hands of the virus. You may have been bereaved; you will know those whose relatives have died during this pandemic.
We’re writing to you, once more, to thank you for supporting our colleagues who work at our Trust.
The rainbows have faded; the weekly applause was put on hold for many months; but at Queen’s and King George Hospitals the caring continued throughout.
You don’t need us to tell you how tough it is. You may have been affected when we cancelled leave in January.
On occasion, your loved one may have returned home in tears after a particularly draining shift. It must be difficult for you to witness.
Our staff are with our patients as they recover or when, sadly, they die. It’s an enormous responsibility they carry on behalf of the communities we serve.
We are asking them to go the extra mile; and they’ve just completed a marathon.
It is all of our staff who are being stretched in ways they once would’ve thought were impossible. They have a variety of job titles – cleaner, nurse, porter, healthcare assistant, ward clerk, doctor, security officer, AHP, administrator, secretary, finance officer, pharmacist, scientist, estates worker, switchboard operator – to list just a few.
They are united by a common purpose - to care for, either directly or indirectly in their different ways, the patients in our hospitals.
We know words of thanks can appear easy to conjure up and concrete actions harder to deliver.
We will look after your loved ones at work to the very best of our abilities.
We have wellbeing hubs for them to use, during any downtime, to relax and recharge. We are offering psychological support. We can always do more. We will do more.
2021 is a new year, offering hope – though it can be hard to appreciate that as we navigate the latest lockdown.
The vaccination programme, which we are proud to be a part of, holds out the promise of a future where Covid-19 is brought more under control. One of our priorities is to ensure our staff are vaccinated.
It’s not an instant solution. Our colleagues will continue to confront challenges during the dark winter months that lie ahead. The resumed weekly applause is a more muted affair as the merits of its revival are debated. What is beyond debate is our desire to applaud you the relatives, loved ones and friends of our staff.
Your support means our staff are better able to care for our patients.
Mike Bell Tony Chambers
Chair Chief Executive