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Celebrating the human faces of healthcare

Bev Fitzsimons 20 December 2021

This Christmas, let’s remember the importance of kindness and compassion for the people who are keeping our health and care services going.


We are excited to launch our winter podcast series, which features the stories of people working in health and care services at the moment. The first is published this week, with another five episodes to follow in the new year.

With press coverage variously characterizing healthcare workers as either heroes or villains, it is an important part of our mission to hear the voices of the human beings who have turned up and kept going over the last 12 months. We hope to shine a light on the realities of working in healthcare.

The first episode of the series, out today, captures beautifully the challenge, responsibility and privilege of being a leader in healthcare and working on the front line with communities. My conversation with Lisa Cooper, Director of community and mental health services at Alder Hey, highlights the joy that working in the NHS can bring even in the most challenging of times. As Lisa says, “I get to go to work every day for an organisation that puts the voice of children and young people at the heart of all we do. And that breathes life into you.”

The work is challenging and ever changing. We discuss how ill-informed criticism in the national press can have a profound impact on staff morale in one of the biggest employers in the UK. As Lisa said when people were clapping for the NHS in the street: “It won’t be long before we’re blamed for everything going wrong”.

So my message this Christmas is to remember the importance of kindness and compassion for the people who are keeping our health and care services going. The staff in our NHS have never worked so hard, and in such challenging circumstances. I know it isn’t all perfect, but it is important to acknowledge the enormous contribution that NHS staff have made to the wellbeing of the population. We know that for staff to do their best for patients, we as a society have to take care of them too.

 

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