December 24, 2020 10.12 am This story is over 34 months old

Reflections 2020: Andrew Morgan – A year we won’t forget in a hurry

The successes and sacrifices of Lincolnshire NHS staff this year

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By CEO of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust

Throughout this year I have seen some incredible things happening within the NHS across the UK and most certainly at ULHT.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has meant that we have had to change. And at pace. We’ve had to make some unpopular decisions and work in completely different ways, but all of it has been to protect our staff and protect and care for our patients – this is and always will be our top priority.

I want to pay tribute to all of the teams, wards and departments across the entire trust for everything they have done this year.

I think it is fair to say that this has been the most challenging year ever experienced in the history of the NHS and the way teams have pulled together as been nothing short of incredible. The resilience, teamwork and compassion shown by everyone has made me even more proud to work for the NHS, than I already was.

I’ve seen and heard some inspirational things, as well as some heart-breaking stories. It really has been a year of mixed emotions for us all.

I also want to thank the people of Lincolnshire for helping us. We know how valuable NHS services are and without you supporting us in a whole host of ways, I cannot begin to imagine how this would have turned out.

From clapping for the NHS at the beginning of the year, finding appropriate healthcare services and offering your services for free, we have been overwhelmed with support from all over the country.

There have been sacrifices made by everybody – annual leave cancelled, operations and appointments cancelled, living away from family, working extra hours, not being able to visit patients and working away from usual working areas.

There has been some extraordinary efforts made – rolling out virtual appointments, introducing new ways of working, moving services to other parts of the county, making and delivering thousands of meals and keeping as much care and treatment going as possible.

All this and so much more.

But we need to keep going. We all need to be abiding by the government guidelines and the extra safety precautions we have to bring into hospitals. There is still a way to go and we mustn’t become complacent. We’re hopeful the vaccine will make a huge difference to the way we live with the virus going forward but until we know what this looks like, we must do all we can to keep the virus at bay.

For 2021 I want to be able to say we have got through the worst of the pandemic and that life will have gone back to some sort of normality, but who knows what could happen. What I do know is that the teams at ULHT will continue to work their hardest to deliver the best care to the people of Lincolnshire, no matter what is thrown their way.

Andrew Morgan is the chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and the former CEO of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.