BHRUT thanks families of NHS workers who are keeping service afloat
- Credit: PA
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) have sent a letter of thanks to the relatives of staff who are working tirelessly to keep the NHS afloat.
This letter, the second of its kind, recognises the role being played by loved ones in supporting staff who are being pushed to their absolute limit.
Signed by chair Mike Bell and chief executive Tony Chambers, it reads: "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."
This burden is laid bare by the most recent figures, which revealed that in the week leading up to January 14, 119 people died from coronavirus at Queen’s and King George Hospitals.
This brings the total deaths at BHRUT hospitals to 1,153 since the start of the pandemic.
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Although all staff are "united by a common purpose" of caring for patients, this is causing strain like never before.
The letter goes on: "We are asking them to go the extra mile; and they’ve just completed a marathon."
While words of thanks are important, the pair recognise that safeguarding staff is what really matters, citing the wellbeing hubs and psychological support available on site.
They stress: "We can always do more. We will do more."
After committing to protecting mental and emotional wellbeing, the letter also promises to protect physical health through early staff vaccination.
Though not an "instant solution", the vaccine does represent "the promise of a future where Covid is brought more under control".
Yet with real relief still some time away, they reiterate the fact that, without support from home, staff wouldn't be able to sustain such efforts: "Your support means our staff are better able to care for our patients. Thank you."