It’s been a while since I wrote to you and of course my reason for the pause is the same as everyone else, the global pandemic.
It is now over 100 days since NHS Golden Jubilee as a team, as part of NHS Scotland, the UK and the world began to work and behave very differently. I know our concerted efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus and the impact of COVID-19 on people, their families, friends, colleagues and communities, is working. However, the hard part is none of us know just how long lockdown and physical distancing must last for. We do know that this time will pass but while we are in it and it carries on seemingly indefinitely, it’s hard.
I want to take this opportunity to tell you of the amazing work NHS Golden Jubilee is continuing to do to support the health of the people of Scotland. We continue to be the main cardiology centre for the West of Scotland and have extended our reach to other areas to support their local NHS services while they deal with the onslaught of treating people with COVID-19. Our cardiac and thoracic surgeons continue to do life-saving surgeries for people with urgent needs.
Before the emergency. people would come to the Golden Jubilee for their operation and be transferred back when well enough for rehabilitation in their local hospital. During this time, we are now looking after people until they are well enough to go home. We know it’s a challenge for people to be in hospital at this time as we have had to stop visiting and staff need to keep as much distance as they can, meaning social interactions are limited to when they are offering physical care. Our staff are very caring and have great belief in the power of connection as part of the healing process, so holding back is hard for them too.
Our theatre staff have also begun working with visiting cancer surgeons to offer life-saving surgeries that cannot be currently delivered in people’s local hospitals. These cross Board teams have been set up safely and at speed, and show everyone’s great ability to do the best for our patients. As our elective orthopaedic and ophthalmology surgery has paused, our surgeons are willingly supporting these visiting surgeons in their area of expertise. Indeed, all our staff in wards, kitchens, in our hotel are working together as a team and prepared to flex and change from week to week as the need arises. Such care and flexibility is wonderful and I am so proud of everyone.
Our Executive team are to be commended to you too as they have worked tirelessly to produce plans, negotiate with colleagues from other health boards across Scotland and to support the Scottish Government to deliver their plans for the best health care possible for the people of Scotland. So remember if you or someone you know needs urgent care and treatment, come forward and get treated. Cardiovascular illness, cancers and life changing conditions are no respecters of coronavirus, so for those who need help the NHS is open and willing. NHS Golden Jubilee is part of that solution, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Until we speak again I wish for you and yours that you stay safe and well.