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NATIONAL THANK YOU DAY: Shipston Home Nursing

AFTER a hellish year it’s time to say thanks – that's the message from organisers of national Thank You Day on 4th July.

With the fight against Covid at last appearing to be won, organisers say it's time we all took time to think about those who have given their all during the last year.

The campaign is calling on people to mark the day by getting together with neighbours, friends and family and joining in a huge nationwide thank-you.

May Parsons (47106499)
May Parsons (47106499)

Well-known names including Dame Judi Dench and Tim Peake have lent their support to the campaign, which was suggested by NHS nurse May Parsons, the Coventry nurse who delivered the first Covid-19 jab when the vaccination programme got under way in December.

She said: “Thank You Day gives me the opportunity to thank all my amazing colleagues working in the NHS and social care.

“This has been the toughest year of our professional careers and you have all worked so hard to treat all the sick patients who came through our doors, while delivering the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history.

"I also want to thank the incredible volunteers who gave up their time to support us, and those in their communities who needed help. I am so grateful to all the people who kept us going: the school teams who looked after our children, shop staff, transport and delivery workers, and everyone else who has helped keep us and the country going.

"We couldn’t have done it without you. I am incredibly proud of our staff and our volunteers, and I want to encourage everyone to embrace Thank You Day and to take part in any way that you can.”

The Herald will be highlighting the work of some of those in the community who are deserving of our heartfelt thanks. Here we have nominated the work of Shipston Home Nursing.

n Let us know your Thank You nominees by emailing us at news@stratford-herald.com.

‘The nightmare is over’

Gemma Roberts, head of nursing services at Shipston Home Nursing, says the last year has been a real team effort.

IT'S hard to believe how the world has changed during the last 12 months and with lockdown restrictions easing, I feel very fortunate to have worked through this nightmare surrounded by a great team of people and other healthcare stakeholders.

Apart from the first two weeks after the March lockdown, when we were advised by Public Health England to minimise "non-essential patient contact", our nursing service has operated as normal, albeit with strict risk assessments and lots of PPE.

For end-of-life patient care it’s very difficult to define "non-essential contact" as it’s all essential, whether for specific clinical intervention and administration of drugs or to provide emotional support for them and their families.

Our mantra throughout this period was that, providing we could minimise risk for both patients and staff, we carried on doing what we do.

Shipston Home Nursing's Gemma Roberts, head of nursing services, right, and Suzanne Roberts, nurse coordinator, in their PPE before a home visit. (47106497)
Shipston Home Nursing's Gemma Roberts, head of nursing services, right, and Suzanne Roberts, nurse coordinator, in their PPE before a home visit. (47106497)

Our close relationships with GP surgeries, community nursing teams, hospitals and other hospices strengthened further during this period as we worked together to provide collaborative end-of-life care in south Warwickshire, which I’m sure will continue to develop further to provide a truly joined-up experience for patients and families.

We are incredibly lucky to have such committed nurses. Without their care and dedication we could not offer such incredible services to our local community. Throughout the pandemic their commitment to our patients has never faltered or wavered.

We have also been humbled by the charitable donations received from our supporters, which has helped to offset the loss of income through not being able to stage fundraising events, and we thank them all for their support.

Reflecting on the entire experience, one of the lessons I have learned is not to take anything for granted as everything can change so very quickly.

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