Our chief executive has written a heartfelt note to her community. She is thanking people for their “generous support” over the course of the pandemic and urging all to “please be kind”.
Julie Gillon has a issued a public letter to her community in the Tees Valley.
In the letter she mentions:
- The community’s support following COVID-19 measures and in being vaccinated
- A recent violent incident at the University Hospital of North Tees and appealed for the community to respect NHS staff
- Rising pressures on services across the organisation and asked people to be patient and understanding
- Appeals to people to continue following infection control guidelines and to “please be kind” to each other
The full letter
Our hospitals, North Tees and Hartlepool, alongside colleagues at South Tees have
commandeered much of the media headlines across the region over the last 18 months. From asking you to stay at home to protect our services, to thanking you for your generous support through to our present day encouragement to take up vaccination opportunities.
I feel privileged and indeed ‘lucky’ that the hospitals and community services I am responsible for are in Teesside. It is the very fabric of the people we care for that keep me buoyed when we face times of increased pressure, and keep me smiling with a humour so unique – it could only be from our region.
The public’s relationship with the NHS is overall a positive one. As a public body, we are
accountable to the communities we serve. We recognise the importance of providing a good service – accessible for all. When you sign up to work for the NHS, no matter your role you become part of something special, to dedicate to patient care above all else.
You may have read or heard about the recent incident at the University Hospital of North Tees – where an armed member of the public made their way in to our buildings. Thankfully, they were quickly detained – owing to the remarkable efforts of our own security team and of course, our local police force.
Sadly, this type of incident is not in isolation for our colleagues. On average around 200 violent attacks happen every single day for staff working across the health service. Sadly, many have resigned themselves to this being a part of their job.
This is not a part of anyone’s job.
The pandemic heightened many of our emotions – the restrictions placed upon us left us feeling helpless. None more so perhaps than those who became new parents at that time. Such was the helplessness that a reported seven out of 10 midwives reported facing abuse from pregnant women, their partners and their families as a result of changes in maternity services during the pandemic (source: Royal College of Midwives).
We understood the frustrations and the anxieties; we felt the fear of those alone delivering their babies with masked midwives their only source of comfort. We cried with you when you weren’t allowed into our hospitals to visit the loved ones you left in our care.
As we work towards recovery, within a very pressured health and care environment I want to make an appeal on behalf of my own colleagues at North Tees and Hartlepool, and those across the wider NHS system. Please be kind.
Whilst the world at large starts to open back up, many of our health and care settings are still working under some important restrictions. Masks for example are still mandatory on our sites. They are to protect our patients and our staff.
Our infection control processes are more important than ever before. We cannot afford risk whilst we work to stabilise our services.
Our emergency and urgent care departments are seeing record numbers of people attending. We are doing our very best to ensure that we support helping our patients as quickly, and more importantly, as safely as possible.
We would appeal to those attending to be patient, to wear a mask, to treat our staff with the respect they deserve. Our job is to keep you safe and well, but we need to have the appropriate safe environment to deliver that care.
The world we have ventured back out into as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is very different, for each and every one of us. How we adapt now, how we work and live alongside one another, I see as a real opportunity for positive change.
As the social media meme goes ‘in a world where we can be anything, please be kind’.