Heartfelt thank-you letter sent from health leaders to Cambridge University Hospitals team for Covid-19 care
The chief executive and chairman of Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) have written a heartfelt letter to staff, volunteers and partners thanking them for their “incredible commitment” and the “personal sacrifices” they have made during the Covid-19 pandemic.
CEO Roland Sinker and chairman Mike More say there have been “so many inspiring acts of kindness” during the most challenging of times that they wished to say a public thank you.
In their open letter - published in full below - they say: “Whatever your role has been - whether you have been caring for patients, or supporting for those who are, whether you have been on-site throughout or working from home, whether you have been a member of staff, contractor or volunteer - you have all played a part in caring for our community and keeping us safe at an exceptional time. It's required so much energy, skill, innovation, brilliant team work, compassion and dedication.”
Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals, has worked closely with partners such as the University of Cambridge, GPs and those in social care during the pandemic, and the letter extends thanks to them too, along with the “family and friends who supported and cared for us in the last year”.
They add: “Together you have comforted and supported us in the darkest hours and made your own sacrifices to keep CUH staff safe and able to do their jobs.”
Covid-19 patients were being admitted at a rate of nearly 25 per day for some spells in January - at its worst, on January 3, 36 new coronavirus patients entered the wards.
In mid-January, when the impact of what became known as the Kent variant was at its peak, Addenbrooke’s intensive care unit had 89 patients in it, which Mr Sinker said was “very close to the maximum we can take and is unprecedented at Addenbrooke’s”.
On January 17, the total number of Covid-19 patients on its wards was reported at 241, and plans had to be put in place for surge capacity on a neighbouring car park. Thankfully, the numbers began to fall in February.
At the time, Mr Sinker praised the “phenomenal” response of those at the hospital to the “extraordinary” battle, during which doctors covered nursing shifts, academics returned to clinical activity, medical students volunteered and retired nurses went back to work.
As of April 11, Cambridge University Hospitals had admitted 1,957 Covid-19 patients during the pandemic. No new cases were admitted on April 11, but there were 10 Covid-19 patients on its wards as of April 13, although none of them was on a ventilator.
As the numbers of cases have fallen, NHS hospitals continue to face a challenge as they work through a backlog of cancelled elective operations.
An open letter to all CUH colleagues and friends
Colleagues and friends,
We are writing to thank you.
Over the last year we’ve all experienced significant changes in our personal and professional lives as we’ve responded to the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to acknowledge the incredible commitment shown by all CUH colleagues to both patients in our care and to each other. We want to say, very publically as well as to you personally, how deeply we appreciate all you have done and continue to do at CUH during such challenging times.
Whatever your role has been - whether you have been caring for patients, or supporting for those who are, whether you have been on-site throughout or working from home, whether you have been a member of staff, contractor or volunteer - you have all played a part in caring for our community and keeping us safe at an exceptional time. It's required so much energy, skill, innovation, brilliant team work, compassion and dedication.
So many of you have made personal sacrifices in order to carry out your work and may have found the emotional burden great at times. So many inspiring acts of kindness within and without the walls of our hospital; from reassuring a patient in distress at the bedside, to ensuring the distribution of hundreds of items of protective equipment to keep each other safe, and so much in between, acts too numerous to articulate.On behalf of the trust, please accept our heart-felt thank you for everything you’ve done during this time.
To our partners across the region, including the University of Cambridge, industry, colleagues in general practice, social care, education and community services, thank you too. This has been done together.
Finally, to our family and friends who supported and cared for us in the last year and to the wider community that has fundraised, clapped, volunteered and stayed at home, thank you. Together you have comforted and supported us in the darkest hours and made your own sacrifices to keep CUH staff safe and able to do their jobs.
With huge admiration, respect and best wishes to all members of the CUH family,
Roland and Mike
Roland Sinker – Chief executive officer, CUH
Mike More – Chairman, CUH