South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is saying a huge Thank You to all its people, its colleagues across the NHS, and to everyone who has supported the NHS in this challenging year — as the NHS celebrates its 72nd birthday.
More than seven decades after the NHS was founded on 5 July 1948, the Trust is expressing gratitude to everyone whose dedication, help and support has enabled it to meet the challenge of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
SWASFT is particularly thankful for its own 4,700 strong team of frontline, operational support and corporate services staff, as well as many others in the NHS who have all helped in the response to patients.
It is also hugely grateful to the thousands of former doctors, nurses and other health service staff who came out of retirement to battle coronavirus, the fellow key workers — from bus drivers and refuse collectors to social care staff and teachers — who have kept the country running and, of course, all those who stopped the spread of the virus by following the expert advice and staying home to save lives.
SWASFT has been supported by fire and rescue service colleagues who have worked alongside frontline teams, driving ambulances and providing much-needed assistance to patients.
We are also hugely grateful and proud of the Trust’s army of volunteer Community First Responders (CFRs) have also had a huge impact in supporting their local communities by attending patients before an ambulance reaches them.
This year has been the most challenging in NHS history with staff working around the clock to tackle coronavirus. Everyone has had a part to play and, in the most difficult days, NHS staff were sustained by the support of the communities they serve.
Individuals and businesses have generously delivered gifts to ambulance stations, and the members of the public have tirelessly shown their appreciation week after week.
Will Warrender CBE, the newly appointed Chief Executive of SWASFT, said: “On the 72nd birthday of the NHS I would like to say a huge thank you to all my colleagues at South Western Ambulance Service, our volunteers, our community, and everyone who has supported us this year.’
“I am proud of what my SWASFT colleagues have achieved in providing emergency and urgent care to so many patients in communities across the South West, whether it be clinical staff on the frontline, in ambulances, or those in the many support and corporate functions whose tireless efforts all keep the organisation running.’
“I am also particularly grateful to our healthcare colleagues in our region’s hospitals, at GP surgeries and pharmacies who have treated countless patients and helped so many others this year.”