“Thank you for your support” – that is the heartfelt message from the chief executive of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust after the NHS marked its 72nd anniversary yesterday (Sunday).
Chief executive Nick Carver started the anniversary week with a video message to the public, and it ended with a Spitfire flypast and a ‘thank you together’ clap yesterday as staff showed their appreciation to all those who have played their part in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his message – spoken on behalf of staff from Hertford County Hospital, Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood and the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City – Mr Carver said: “The last few months have been pretty challenging and I have to say I am phenomenally proud of all the people working in our trust. They have been immense in the most difficult of circumstances.
“But it is also true they and we could not have done what we have without your support. So, quite simply, I want to say thank you.
“Whatever way you have played your part – given money to our charity, donated goods or given your time, if you have display a rainbow in the window or if you have clapped on your doorstep on a Thursday evening – thank you. It has made such an amazing difference.”
Colleagues at the trust followed suit with handwritten messages to the public which were shared on social media. These included “thank you for caring for my children so I can continue to come to work” from Lister-based clinical skills tutor Stephanie Smith and “big thanks from the Urgent Care Centre for taking care of us” from New QEII Hospital nurse Beata Nowosinska.
On Saturday, the day before the anniversary, staff paused at 11am to remember all those who have lost their lives during the pandemic – with Mr Carver announcing a memorial space will be created at the Lister in their honour.
Yesterday’s celebrations, which saw a ‘Thank you NHS’ Spitfire fly over the New QEII and the Lister, were made all the more poignant when the only remaining patient with COVID-19 in Lister’s critical care unit was able to be moved to a specialist ward after two months in intensive care.
Chief nurse Rachael Corser described the moment as a “big step” for both the patient, Ray, and the trust, and said she is “proud of the high-quality care colleagues are giving our patients every day”.
The trust is now looking forward to its AGM week between 13-17 July – with the public encouraged to be part of the conversation as it goes digital for the first time. To find out more, please visit Join the conversation as East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust goes digital for AGM week