2020 – a year like no other
New Year's message to NCH&C staff
As the New Year approaches, and the end of one of the most difficult and extraordinary years many of us have known, I’ve been taking time to reflect on all the ways that we have responded in the fight against COVID-19. Though this year has brought remarkable uncertainty and turbulence, the stories of how our staff have risen to the challenges and adapted both professionally and personally fill me with enormous pride.
I hope that you’re proud of all your achievements, however big or small you might consider them to be. We have put together some highlights from this year and the incredible work our teams have undertaken:
- Our Starfish+ team developed a series of videos to help support young people with learning disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Rosie Watson, Queen’s Nurse and Clinical Lead Nurse at NCH&C, talked to Nursing Standard about what community nursing might look like on the other side of the pandemic
- NCH&C staff get ready to be redeployed to the front line
- The Rapid Assessment and Frailty Team is shortlisted for HSJ Award
- NCH&C takes part in photographic documentary to celebrate health and social care staff in Norfolk and Waveney: #WeCareTogether
- Role of community health and care in pandemic response is recognised
- Caroline House launches new video for families and loved ones of those on the unit
- Jessica Brunet wins NHS Person of the Year
- NCH&C launches new service to help those with post-covid symptoms
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the work that has, and is, going on across our trust. Do let me know about your successes, I’d love to hear about them and to share them if I can.
I wanted to thank our local communities for their tremendous support and kindness this year: companies, schools and universities making or contributing visors and masks; people crocheting ear protectors for our staff and heart-shaped keepsakes for our palliative patients and their loved ones; donations of hand cream and supplies of food. As a result of generous donations from the public, our own NCH&C Charitable Fund has been able to provide many items to support staff wellbeing and improve patient experience during these difficult weeks and months too.
As is usual and natural at this time of year, we now look to the future. I have a sincere belief that things will get better. Your hard work and dedication; the determination to find new ways of working and your tenacity in helping the Norfolk and Waveney system respond to this pandemic, means that NCH&C is positioned well to steer through the challenges in the months to come.
Being able to get back to some sense of normality is on the horizon. But we are not there yet. The recent announcement that a new fast-spreading strain of the virus is a worrying development for us all. We are not yet at the peak of this wave in the pandemic. Many of our staff are very tired. I urge you to continue to look after yourselves and one another and do make use of the Wellbeing resources we have available for staff.
The weeks ahead will be tough but we can, and will, get through this by drawing further strength from working together – by supporting our colleagues and asking for help if we need it – and the optimism of the roll out of the vaccine for COVID-19.
Thank you for your work in 2020, and my very best wishes to you all for 2021.