Associate feature: Getting through the toughest of years
It is hard to know where to start when reflecting on the last nine months and its impact on healthcare. Put simply it has been the toughest of years for staff and patients.
We strive to do our absolute best for patients and that brings extra pressures during a pandemic and our thoughts will always be for those who have suffered from COVID, their families, and those whose care has been affected because of the virus.
We feel it acutely as professionals as we struggle every day to keep up with demand and provide the care that patients deserve.
The cumulative stress is taking its toll at the same time as an already stretched workforce is being further depleted by the number of colleagues who are shielding, selfisolating or off sick with COVID and its after effects.
There are no easy answers here and certainly not in 300 words!
I make two pleas. During COVID we have seen important measures to protect the wellbeing of staff. Free carparking, hot meals and break facilities and better psychological support are the things which can make life that little bit easier. We must not stop these. COVID has some way to go and healthcare staff need all the help they can get simply to get through to the end of this pandemic.
My second ask is honesty and understanding about the pressure on our NHS and managing the demand on it. Healthcare staff bear the brunt of public frustration and whether or not understandable it adds to the pressure on us. Politicians must be publicly honest and realistic in what they ask of the health service and what they tell people is possible.
Ensuring we all support each other is how we will get through this. And we will get through this.
This article was sponsored by the BMA.
Dr Lewis Morrison is the Chair of BMA Scotland