Health Secretary Matt Hancock has written to NHS staff, thanking them for their efforts in responding to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In the letter, Mr Hancock expressed his thanks to members of the health service, saying;
“During this difficult period for our country, we have seen the NHS doing what it does best, delivering incredible care with compassion, and I am so grateful to every single member of the team for the part you have played. Together we protected the NHS, and the nation has expressed how much it values you in so many ways.”
The Health Secretary also said in the letter that it is ‘mission critical’ that lessons are learnt both from what went well and what must change in the response to COVID-19.
The letter from the Health Secretary comes as healthcare staff are still working hard to respond to the pandemic, but as the number of new cases has plateaued recently in some parts of the UK.
According to the latest government data, more than 14 million tests have been carried out in the UK since the start of the pandemic. Of those tested, 319,197 people have tested positive for the virus and 41,369 have died across all settings within 28 days of being tested.
Mr Hancock also used his letter on Monday to invite health and social care staff in England to take part in a ‘Bureaucracy Challenge’, where they can express their views on how to remove ‘unnecessary bureaucracy’ from the sector.
Bureaucracy is usually defined as processes that are over-complicated and achieve little added value or areas where there are excessive amounts of red tape. Responses from the challenge are to be used to help inform reforms of regulations and procedures while ensuring safe and high-quality standards of care.
Mr Hancock has told NHS workers that during the pandemic, they helped work to achieve things “that people never thought possible, like building the Nightingale hospitals in 9 days”, adding that with the help of NHS staff on working out what went well and what didn’t, “we can forge a health and social care system of the future.”