It is also very positive news for the Trust as the increased supply of vaccines means, in line with the priority groups list, we can begin to offer vaccination to all of our frontline staff providing the opportunity to reduce the risk of Covid – 19 to those they care for, themselves and their families.
It is now clear that the amazing progress of the vaccination programme is now providing a real ‘light at the end of the Covid 19 tunnel’ for our vulnerable population, our wider communities and our healthcare and social care staff and should be seen with a sense of optimism as we move into 2021.
However, there are still some challenges to be overcome and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock yesterday announced a change to the tiers for millions of people across the country. It was confirmed that Doncaster, and the rest of South Yorkshire, will remain in tier 3 restrictions. However, Bassetlaw have been placed in tier 4 restrictions which came into effect at 00:01 GMT on Thursday 31 December.
I urge everybody in Bassetlaw to read the guidance to understand what tier 4 means for you and your household. While I understand further restrictions are very difficult, the measures that are in place to reinforce strict adherence to Hands, Face and Space will help us to reduce the risk of spreading the virus so that less people need hospital treatment, or even intensive care, as a result of Covid-19. If everyone gets behind the key actions of Hands, Face and Space as we extend the vaccination programme it will allow us to make progress to ending the restrictions as quickly as possible.
Nationally we are seeing rising numbers of cases and there is an expectation that January may once again be challenging. However in anticipation the Trust has robust plans in place, building on what has been established since April.
At the end of the year we often take time to reflect and I want to personally take this opportunity to once again express my extreme gratitude and pride at how every single member of DBTH has risen to the most challenging 12 months working in the NHS.
They have worked differently, at pace, finding solutions to constantly changing challenges, for the good of the health of our communities.
I also want to thank you for your continued support. You have already been fantastic, sacrificing and compromising to help flatten the curve and beat this disease. On behalf of Team DBTH, I ask that you again give them as much support as possible by sticking to the guidance and looking after the vulnerable throughout what is a notoriously difficult winter period.
So all that is left to say is Happy New Year from me, and everybody at DBTH. Remember, whether you have had the vaccine, or have recently recovered from the disease, the message remains the same for us all; Hands, Face, Space will help to control the virus and stop the spread, hopefully resulting in a happier and healthier 2021 for all of us.
Richard Parker OBE