There is no doubt that 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for the NHS.
Over the last few months we've watched as the NHS has stepped up in ways never seen before to deliver services differently, recruit more staff, recruit returners and even build hospitals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NHS couldn't have achieved this without the commitment and skills of all our people, whose professionalism, and hard work has been unfailing despite difficult circumstances.
Since I last wrote to you a lot has happened. We have now moved in to phase three of the Scottish Government's plan to reopen society meaning non-essential shops and thankfully hairdressers can all open again.
In March, along with every other hospital in Scotland, we postponed all non-urgent procedures to help in the fight against coronavirus. As the main cardiology centre for the West of Scotland we have continued to offer critical to life heart, lung and cancer services to patients throughout the duration of the pandemic.
As the number of infections continues to fall we can now start to move forward toward a 'new normal'.
On 1 July we resumed planned care in key demand specialties. This meant that we could start work on planned heart and lung procedures as well as hip and knee replacements, cataracts and a range of diagnostic tests.
As we've started to see patients again and planned care is resumed we have introduced a range of measures designed to keep you and our staff as safe as possible.
When you enter the building, whether from the hospital entrance or the hotel side you will be directed to the Safety Station for alcohol based hand rub and you can pick up a fluid resistant surgical mask if you don’t have your own face covering.
When you leave the reception area and move around the hospital, clinical staff will be wearing surgical masks, there will be signs restricting the numbers of people in lifts and there is now a one-way system in place with helpful signposting reminding you to keep left, keep moving, keep safe.
We are continuing to carry out outpatient appointments by video or telephone to reduce the numbers of people in the hospital and allow for physical distancing.
To help further reduce the number of people across Scotland waiting for appointments and treatment for heart disease, cancer, hip and knee replacements, we've created two new wards and will be opening these as soon as possible.
We're also focusing on priority patients for the time being and are trying to see as many people as possible within departments while making sure that patients interact with the minimal number of staff to help with physical distancing.
This is part of an ongoing package of measures to keep patients, staff and the wider community safe and minimise the risk of transmission within hospital.
Please be assured that we are doing all we can to keep you, and those close to you, safe while you are in our care.
This pandemic has presented us all with possibly the greatest challenge any of us has ever faced. The Golden Jubilee may look a little different next time you visit us but we'll always be here for you when you need us and we look forward to welcoming you back.