Thank you Lanarkshire, please stick with it
As the nation comes together today to reflect on a year of living with the coronavirus, a huge thank you has also been extended.
NHS Lanarkshire chief executive Heather Knox praised the fortitude of Lanarkshire residents and her colleagues – a year on from the start of the pandemic.
She said: “My overwhelming impression of the last 12 months is the unceasing dedication of NHS Lanarkshire staff in the face of this unprecedented challenge, coupled with the fantastic support the public has given us by following the guidance to ensure the NHS was never overwhelmed.
“My thoughts also turn to all those families across Lanarkshire and beyond who have suffered the loss of loved-ones, and, of course, we remember the loss of our own member of staff, Kirsty Jones.
“Lanarkshire has been among the areas of Scotland most affected by this horrible virus with nearly 38,000 cases in our health board area.
“That number would have been much higher had it not been for the unswerving patience and sacrifice of the community.
“The people of Lanarkshire have shown endless understanding. They have seen us pause non-urgent planned operations and a range of outpatient appointments. Heart-breaking decisions have had to be made around our visiting arrangements in care homes and our hospitals, which saw so many people unable to be close to their vulnerable and unwell family members and friends.
“I believe those hard choices were the right thing to do to protect us all and I know our staff did their best to accommodate special circumstances such as the sadness of end-of-life moments or the joy of a new life.
“My colleagues have worked harder than ever before, pushing through tiredness and the emotional toll they’ve faced daily. The public, too, have faced that ongoing emotional challenge.
“I hope we’re all starting to feel more optimistic now that the vaccination programme is beginning to show an effect and we’re seeing the cautious return of care home visiting.
"I’m heartened to see the number of patients being treated for Covid reducing significantly in our hospitals.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Lanarkshire public and my magnificent colleagues. But we’re not out of the woods yet so, please, stick with it Lanarkshire!”