Staff at Buxton for Youth – Bright Opportunities receive their vaccinations
Buxton Mountain Rescue team help transport people to their vaccination appointment
Avid followers of our callout posts on social media may have spotted that we usually finish with a comment relating to cleaning kit and the vehicles as part of our Covid-19 protocols. The need for this was highlighted recently when we featured on Sky News, having been placed on standby during the recent bad weather conditions to help with the local vaccination programme.
When employees of HGV Direct Buxton’s branch saw this, they were inspired and wanted to help out, so made a very generous offer of specialist cleaning equipment and disinfecting materials for use in our vehicles.
Fletcher, the Purchasing Manager, met with Matt, the teams Logistics Officer to hand over the supplies, which will streamline the process of preparing the vehicles for the next callout and help prevent the potential spread of infection. An excellent example of the community coming together to fight the spread of Covid-19, and we are extremely grateful to Fletcher and HGV Direct (Buxton).
It’s been a challenging week in the Peak District with both flooding and continued low temperatures and snow in many areas.
Local services in the National Park will be under added pressure, so it’s as important as ever to stay home, and stay local for exercise.
Travel should be for essential reasons only, and not leisure or recreation.
Stay safe and thank you
It’s a while since we updated you on our current operational position, but we’ve hit a ‘milestone’ we weren’t looking forward to today – so it’s an appropriate time to share how things look in the hospital.
We now have the highest number of COVID-19 positive patients in our hospital since the pandemic was officially declared an NHS incident at the start of 2020. We are looking after 169 patients with Coronavirus – 16 of whom are in intensive care. The pressure and demand is unprecedented. And of course there are around 300 other patients in hospital who also need urgent care and treatment. It’s an understatement to say it’s an incredibly challenging time for our staff, many are working extra hours and shifts to support critical care, we have colleagues helping out with support roles like meal services – and everyone is pitching in where they can. It really is all hands on deck. And amazing to be frank – the teamwork is superb!
Of course NHS staff aren’t immune to COVID-19 (it’s early days still for vaccines to take effect) – around six percent of our 4200 strong team are currently absent. It’s an extra pressure to ensure safe staffing levels. One of the reasons you haven’t seen a full length update is because I also tested positive at Christmas. I would say I had a pretty severe case – with breathing difficulties, a consistent cough (literally), a temperature that made me hallucinate, painful muscles, extreme fatigue, headache and sickness. I still have no sense of taste and a full day at work is like running a marathon! I stayed out of hospital thanks to virtual clinical reviews and advice from my fantastic colleagues! I guess you could say it’s a ‘perk’ (although you have to be really ill to benefit)! But along with many of my colleagues I’m ‘on the mend’.
The reason I’m sharing my personal
experience is to first of all say thank you to the hundreds (literally) of get well messages I received – not just from family, friends and colleagues, but from many of you who follow our page. It was much appreciated. Secondly it’s to remind everyone that COVID-19 remains real. I felt like I’d done ‘something wrong’ even though I knew I’d meticulously followed ‘hands, face and space’ and – other than work and the supermarket – I’d been nowhere. I’m obviously still advocating that all of that matters though, because it will prevent someone from catching it, or spreading it. Everything you can do to protect the NHS right now really does matter.
We are also incredibly sad that 289 of our patients are now a ‘COVID-19 related death statistic’. They are of course much more than that – they are much missed loved-ones – they are grandparents, parents, sisters and brothers, nephews, nieces, cousins, workmates and friends. Our thoughts are with their families and indeed with all families who have lost someone during the pandemic.
Finally though (and sorry it’s a long post) we are also mindful that more than 1100 people have left our hospital in the last 10 months after care and treatment for Coronavirus. That, and the start of the national vaccination programme – the biggest in history – are
lights in the dark tunnel of lockdown. A long way to go to protect everyone, lots of challenges, but phenomenal work in progress by teams of staff across the NHS many of whom are supporting the programme in addition to their ‘day job’.
Thank you as always for your support and good wishes.
Sarah, Head of Communications
Spare a thought for those who do not have easy access to basic life support equipment – don’t take the NHS for granted; protect what we are so fortunate to have!