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Message from NHS Lincs CEO and Chairs

Dear colleague,

As you will have seen from earlier staff communications and the Government’s announcement on Sunday (12 Dec) that all over 18s will be offered the COVID booster by the New Year, there is significant pressure on the health and care system, both nationally and here in Lincolnshire.

This is being felt across all our NHS and partner services, so firstly we want to thank you for your continued commitment and dedication to delivering the best possible care for our patients and service users.

The NHS nationally has now re-entered its highest level of emergency preparedness, incident level 4. Clearly, the upgrade in incident level and the push to increase vaccination rates indicates that the new Omicron variant brings increased risks to the NHS and our local communities and we must act now to prevent our services becoming overwhelmed. The COVID booster is crucial in our response because:

• Scientists are concerned by the speed at which the new variant Omicron spreads. We are already over 64,000 cases a day now.
• The UK Health Security Agency reported on Friday that there is a significant drop in effectiveness against the Omicron variant after two vaccines. However, the third booster prevents around 75% of people getting COVID symptoms.
• To protect our NHS, we need to quicky increase levels of protection by increasing the pace of the vaccination programme. In Lincolnshire this means delivering 150% of our previous maximum vaccination capacity with immediate effect.

What can I do?

• Firstly, get vaccinated – lots of information will have already been shared on how you book a vaccination, whether you need your first, second or booster. Additional clinics have been added at our hospital hubs to help staff access their jab. Read more on how to get vaccinated here.

• Please support services most needing it in the coming weeks if you can. This includes the vaccination programme, urgent and emergency care and elective care which need skilled and experienced staff to support them. You can find out more about volunteering this support below.

• Support any requests your line manager makes to adapt how you work to deliver the best possible patient care during Incident Level 4. Some services and activities may be paused or stepped back to support our collective response. You will be briefed on any impact this has in your local organisation. For some this will not affect your daily role, whilst for others this may mean redeployment, or an opportunity for additional or alternative shifts.

How to support priority services and the vaccination centres

There are several roles in these services we urgently need support with, and all colleagues can provide support if it is possible for them. This includes paid roles requiring registered clinicians, corporate and administrative colleagues, and also opportunities to safely train non-clinical colleagues to temporarily support with other responsibilities, for example vaccinating. The CCG communicated with all staff yesterday in this regard and many of you are already being deployed and we are very thankful for your support, if you are unsure please check with your Head of Service or teams BCP lead.

Look after yourself and others

We know this period will be extremely busy for us all and it is important that you know you are doing a great job. If your resilience feels low at any time, share this with your line manager and agree how to rest and recover appropriately. There are lots of health and wellbeing resources available to you on our intranet. Please priorities using these when you need it. It is well known that to look after others effectively, you must first look after yourself.

Please do also keep an eye on each other. If you notice a colleague showing signs of fatigue, ask them what support they need, and point them in the direction of wellbeing support too. If you have significant concerns about anyone you are working with and how they are coping, please escalate this to your line manager. If you feel more needs to be done, contact your HR team.

You are the NHS’ most important and valued resource. You are as able as anyone to make a difference. Please be kind to yourself and those around you.

Once more, thank you for everything you continue to do to support Lincolnshire’s NHS.

John Turner
Chief Executive
NHS Lincolnshire CCG

Sean Lyons
Chair
NHS Lincolnshire CCG

Andrew Morgan
Chief Executive
United Lincolnshire Hospitals

Chair
Elaine Baylis
United Lincolnshire Hospitals

Maz Fosh
Chief Executive
Lincolnshire Community Health Services

Elaine Baylis
Chair
Lincolnshire Community Health Services

Sarah Connery
Chief Executive
Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust

Kevin Lockyer
Chair
Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust

 

Published 16/12/2021