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Statement from NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria

23rd December 2020

While we celebrate the positive roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, the festive period is still going to be challenging, with significant pressures on NHS services. It is important that we all continue to play our part in following guidelines to reduce the risk of infection. Of course you want to see your family and friends at Christmas, but we would urge everybody to be as careful as they possibly can.While we need to celebrate the positive roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, the festive period is still going to be challenging, with significant pressures on NHS services. It is important that we all continue to play our part in following guidelines to reduce the risk of infection.

Of course you want to see your family and friends at Christmas, but we would urge everybody to be as careful as they possibly can.

Winter is always a challenging time for the NHS and wider social care services. This year, as we continue to respond to Covid-19, it will be harder than ever.

In response to this, all hospitals within Lancashire and South Cumbria continue to work together and have plans in place to manage increased demand on our services.

Anyone with concerns should continue to come forward for help and treatment. It is important that unless you are contacted, you should continue to attend appointments as planned.

2020 has been an incredibly challenging year and staff working in NHS, local authorities, police, fire service and the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector have responded magnificently to support and care for local people and to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who works across the partnership, particularly those who continue to be working over the festive period. Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, Chief Officer, Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System.2020 has been an incredibly challenging year and staff working in NHS, local authorities, police, fire service and the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector have responded magnificently to support and care for local people and to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who works across the partnership, particularly those who continue to be working over the festive period.

It is crucial that we all understand our own individual role in reducing the spread of Covid-19 in our local communities: limiting social interactions as much as possible, adhering strictly to local restrictions and continuing to follow national guidance, which is proven to help reduce the spread of the virus - by washing hands regularly, wearing face coverings, and following social distancing measures at all times. This will protect both our loved ones and the NHS and health and care staff who are working tirelessly to provide care for local people over the winter months.

We are very pleased to be at the start of what will be the largest vaccination programme in our history. Local teams across primary and secondary care, with support across the partnership, are working hard to put arrangements in place that allow us to start protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities, while also providing care to Covid and non-Covid patients. To date we have already been able to vaccinate more than 12,000 people. Being able to start offering Covid-19 vaccinations means that we can look forward to 2021 with greater optimism.

  • Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, Chief Officer for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System
  • Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, speaking on behalf of hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria

Find out more about Covid-19 vaccinations

Covid-19 vaccinations in Lancashire and South Cumbria


Kevin McGee - Christmas message

Video transcript - Kevin McGee

[KEVIN MCGEE]: Hello my name is Kevin McGee and I'm the Chief Executive of Blackpool Hospitals and East Lancashire Hospitals and today I'm speaking to you on behalf of all of the hospitals across Lancashire and South Cumbria. This festive period is going to be a challenging time for us all and our hospitals are still under considerable pressure. And whilst we wish you all a Merry Christmas and we want you all to enjoy it with your friends and family, I would urge everybody to be careful and to follow all the rules and regulations. Winter is always the busiest time for our hospitals and this year, with our Covid numbers, it's busier than ever. In response to this, all our hospitals are supporting one another and are providing mutual aid, so that we can continue to provide safe services. And I would say to everybody, if you need our services and you need our help, your hospitals are here, as ever. 

2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for the whole of the public sector and I include in that our voluntary services and our faith services. And I want to thank and say a massive thank you to everybody working in our public services - be that hospitals, local government, police, fire, ambulance, our faith services and our community services. You have done a magnificent job supporting all our communities and keeping everybody safe. And although I recognise that this year has been difficult, there is light. All of our services are working together to stand up our vaccination hubs. And, as we go into 2021, the vaccination will be with us and we have set up hubs to be able to vaccinate all our communities and to keep everybody safe. So there is light at the end of this. Please keep safe over the festive period, follow the rules and regulations and let's all look forward to a brighter and better 2021. Thank you.

Andy Curran - thank you to staff

Video transcript - Andy Curran

[ANDY CURRAN:]

2020 has been a really tough year for many of us. But our NHS and social care staff have really pulled together to support and care for local people across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone that's been delivering care in our NHS, in social care services, right the way across Lancashire and South Cumbria. So whether that's a GP practice, whether it's a community setting, a care home or one of our hospitals, we really want to say thank you to all our frontline staff.

We also need to recognise that there's a whole army of people behind that frontline staff, supporting them too. And to them we're really grateful as well.

We also would like to say a special thank you to those of you who are working Christmas Day, Boxing Day or any of the Bank Holidays that happen round about this time of year. You are enabling many other people to spend time with their friends and family, and we really hope that you manage to get a break and have some time with them too. Thank you.