We are approaching what is referred to as the “festive time” of the year. Whether we attach religious significance to the holidays, or enjoy them in a secular way, we typically slow down the pace of our work and celebrate with our families and friends.
For patients confined to hospital wards or community care settings the joy of the holidays can be muted by worries about their health and reduced opportunities to see loved ones. And the health and social care workers who tend to our patients don’t all have the ability to take time off.
So let me focus this holiday greeting on our patients and staff. To the patients, I send every best wish for a fast recovery so you can return home with your health restored. To our wonderful staff, I say a heartfelt thank you for all you do, and especially for the sacrifices you make during the holidays. Unfortunately, sicknesses don’t look at the calendar to decide when to strike, so we need to staff our wards and facilities and provide the care just as we always do. Rest assured, your dedication to the job does not go unnoticed.
The last 20 months have been difficult ones for the Health Service generally, and for the NCA and its care organisations. Whilst we haven’t been able to do everything we would have liked --- our wating times for elective procedures are still too long and we are straining in some places for bed space – we are optimistic about where we are headed.
In the midst of the pandemic we completed our transformation into the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust with unprecedented scope and scale. We welcomed a dynamic new Chief Executive. And, we are launching a refreshed strategic plan consistent with our new status and with the impending changes in the NHS. That will include improvements in how we access and use electronic resources, in new capital projects, and in better ways to work with other providers in Greater Manchester, our primary care partners, and our local governments.
In making these changes we are maintaining our strap line—the purpose of the Northern Care Alliance – to Save Lives and Improve Lives. That is the mantra of all our staff and our commitment to our patients.
To each and every one of you, happy holidays. May the season bring you joy and good health. There is nothing more important.
You can watch the video message below.