Hartlepool hospital chief urges people to 'be kind' as NHS staff face pressures and abuse

A hospital chief has urged people to ‘be kind’ as NHS staff face continued pressures – and cases of abuse.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 2:02 pm

Julie Gillon, chief executive at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospitals in Hartlepool and Stockton, thanked people for their “generous support” over the course of the pandemic.

But in a heartfelt note to her community, she also referred to a ‘violent incident’ at the Stockton site in recent weeks – and said it was sadly not an isolated occasion.

“The pandemic heightened many of our emotions – the restrictions placed upon us left us feeling helpless,” she said.

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North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Julie Gillon signing letter to the community.

"None more so perhaps than those who became new parents at that time. Such was the helplessness that a reported seven out of 10 midwives reported facing abuse from pregnant women, their partners and their families as a result of changes in maternity services during the pandemic.

“We understood the frustrations and the anxieties; we felt the fear of those alone delivering their babies with masked midwives their only source of comfort. We cried with you when you weren’t allowed into our hospitals to visit the loved ones you left in our care.

“As we work towards recovery, within a very pressured health and care environment I want to make an appeal on behalf of my own colleagues at North Tees and Hartlepool, and those across the wider NHS system. Please be kind.”

On violence towards staff, she wrote: “On average around 200 violent attacks happen every single day for staff working across the health service. Sadly, many have resigned themselves to this being a part of their job.

“This is not a part of anyone’s job.”

The health chief asked people attending hospital services to ‘be patient, wear a mask, and treat our staff with the respect they deserve.

"Our job is to keep you safe and well, but we need to have the appropriate safe environment to deliver that care,” she wrote.

“The world we have ventured back out into as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is very different, for each and every one of us. How we adapt now, how we work and live alongside one another, I see as a real opportunity for positive change.”

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