A festive message from our CEO, Jane Hatfield

Posted 18 Dec 2020

Date: 18 Dec 2020

Author: Jane Hatfield - CEO of FSRH

Jane Hatfield, FSRH CEO, shares a special thank you to our members and HCPs along with some tips on how to take care of your mental and physical wellbeing this winter.

The year 2020 will be remembered for many things, with COVID-19 being the first thing that comes to mind. It’s impossible to deny the impact that this virus has had on almost every aspect of our lives both on a personal and professional level - especially for those working in healthcare and providing other essential ‘frontline’ services. I would like to take a moment to remember the colleagues we have lost this year and those healthcare professionals who are suffering the long-term effects of COVID-19. 

However, along with the increased uncertainty and grief the pandemic has bought it has also given us precious opportunities for camaraderie and connection as we strive to work together to care for our communities. For this commitment and tenacity on behalf of everyone here at the FSRH, I want to thank all our members – and our staff - for your work this year – both in SRH and for the Faculty itself. In particular, I would like to thank those of you who have continued to contribute to our work – in your own time – despite the exhaustion and turbulence - you continue to do a fantastic job! 

We are still in the midst of the pandemic, but there is a glimmer of light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel. With the roll-out of vaccines across the globe, we hope that 2021 brings some level of ‘normality’ - albeit a new normal - to all of our lives. Perhaps we might even be able to meet up in person towards the end of next year – a committee meeting in our ‘new’ offices in Union Street, perhaps a ‘real life’ conference, staff working together in an office!

We have worked very hard to support our members this year and we hope we have made a contribution to ensuring SRH care could continue albeit in a COVID-adapted form in many cases. 

With the festive season fast approaching along with the end of this very long year, taking care of our mental and physical health and continuing to support each other is as important as it ever was. A few tips I have found helpful this year:

1. Check-in with yourself (and each other)

 Working in high-pressure caring environments where the focus is predominantly on other people’s needs doesn’t always make it easy to identify our own needs. When you can, it’s important to check in with yourself first and others when you can. How do really feel today? Is there anything you can do to help you relax/ unwind? This may mean calling up a loved one, getting in some physical activity or even journalling as a way of reflecting and getting what’s going on inside, out. I have written about my cancer diagnosis and treatment and it has helped me to come to terms with it. 

2. Be compassionate with yourself 

As Helen Munro our Vice President mentioned earlier this year, ‘It’s ok to find this ‘new normal’ challenging. It is ok to be fine one day and struggling the next. The important thing is to get the help that we need. Speak to your manager and colleagues, ask a loved one for support or find professional help. Try to treat yourself with as much kindness as you would a close friend.

3. Make the most of existing resources

Our COVID-19 Facebook group is still open for peer support around SRH care provision but there are a number of other resources out there to help support healthcare professionals with sleep and emotional wellbeing. These include: 

  • The Samaritans - have a free confidential support line for all NHS staff and volunteers.
  • Headspace - are offering all NHS staff free access to their mindfulness app. 
  • Sleepio - are offering free access to their better sleep app for NHS workers in some areas. 
  • The NHS  - there are a number of wellbeing guides for healthcare professionals on how to support themselves and each other.

The year may soon be over, but we still have a way to go with the pandemic, so please continue to take care of yourselves and each other. 

On behalf of everyone here at the FSRH, I wish you all a very happy festive season and a happy and healthy 2021!

FSRH office Christmas closure dates