“We will get through this together” – staff message from Peter Axon

Peter Axon has today issued this message to all Combined Staff

Hello everybody.  Peter Axon here, Chief Executive at Combined

I think this is a good time to provide a short update on my view of where we are at – both as a system and an organisation, including some of the challenges, but benefits we have in this phase of the pandemic.

So, the first thing I want to say – and most importantly – is a huge thank you to you all for your ongoing efforts.

We know that Covid has been with us now and has been impacting on our services since March earlier this year.

And so we have had a number of months of challenge.

In terms of that first phase, we got through it, and I would say we got through it incredibly well.

We learnt a number of things during that time which will stand us in good stead as we enter into this second surge phase.

Most notable for me, we learnt that PPE is absolutely vital.

The effective and good quality use of PPE at all times is critical to control the virus.

We understand how quickly it has the potential to spread across individuals so PPE, for me, is the absolute top priority in terms of infection prevention and control.

We also know that testing has a hugely important role to play, whether that is testing out in the community or testing of our staff and patients.

And testing has, of course, improved more recently – speedier tests and more tests available.

So all of these things, for me, provide us with a far greater opportunity to effectively control and manage the virus, both within our organisation, but also within our personal lives.

So a massive thank you to you all – not only for the effective use of PPE, but more generally ensuring that you act in an absolutely professional and high quality clinic way throughout your jobs.

So, as we enter into this next phase of the pandemic, as I’ve already mentioned, we have a number of mitigations at hand.

We know that there is a lockdown coming across the country.  We also know that we already operate services where possible in a digital way through remote mechanisms, and therefore are unlikely to need to significantly change as a result of Thursday’s announcement.

At the same time, of course, the level of prevalence of Covid within our local population means that we will be challenged in this surge perhaps more within the organisation than we were in the previous surge.

So it’s all the more important that we’re able within the organisation to stay as fleet of foot as we possibly can, ensuring that we maintain those critical and essential services, day-in, day-out, for the most vulnerable in our population.

And that will simply mean that we have to constantly evaluate the nature of services, how we are providing services, to ensure that we can maintain those critical and essential arrangements throughout this second surge.

So we do know that the pressure is perhaps a little greater this time round than last time.

We also know that the personal pressure on individuals perhaps may be a little greater.

But we fundamentally understand more so this time, how to control and manage the virus .

We also have far more significant arrangements in place to support the health and wellbeing of you – our staff.

What I would say is please do call on those services, those support mechanisms, whether it be through our staff counselling arrangements or other arrangements. should you require them.

They are there for you and so absolutely please do access them if you need to.

So I am optimistic, I am positive that we are in the best place we can be, now, as we enter into the second phase and, of course, as we head into winter 2020/21, to cope with all of the challenges that will come our way.

And a huge thank you again to you all for your ongoing efforts .

I am sure that we will get through this together as we do in Combined every day, every week, every month, every year.

We work better together.

In addition, we also be providing a standard COVID Bulletin Update that we have been providing throughout this situation – and that will be coming out later this week from Jonathan O’Brien, our Director of Operations.

And that will provide a little more detail around some of the key things that we need to operationally and clinically concentrate on over the coming days and weeks.

So, thank you for listening, a huge thank you for all of your hard work – both today and over the coming weeks – and I know that, together, we will get through this.  

Thank You.