I’m writing to offer my support to those of you who have friends or family in India and other countries severely affected by the pandemic at the moment.
You will undoubtedly have seen national news coverage of the pandemic overseas, and particularly in India, which has seen a record number of cases in recent days.
We know that this will be very distressing for many of you. I can only promise you that your colleagues and I are here for you.
In particular, we recognise that for those of you who have loved ones overseas, you may need to call them more regularly than usual, including at night due to time zone differences. If this is the case for you, please just let your line manager know so that they can help you.
I’m also asking all of our colleagues to think about how we can go that bit further to show particular kindness and compassion at this time, when some of us may be under real emotional pressure.
Finally, I want to repeat that I am always here to listen to you. In particular, if you have thought of a way we can help support you further, I would be enormously grateful if you could let me know.
Help and support
Talking to colleagues or your line manager can be truly valuable in difficult circumstances. But if you need more support, or need someone independent, there are lots of ways you can talk to someone quickly and easily.
Our employee assistance programme offers you a free and confidential way to talk to someone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Keeping Well offers rapid wellbeing and psychological support to all NHS staff members working in north west London.
Our BME network helpline is there to listen to your concerns and signpost you to places where you can get more assistance. Call 020 8453 2150 between 10am and 2pm Monday to Friday, and a trained adviser will call you back.
To every one of you, thank you for being kind, thoughtful and compassionate to one another, no matter what happens. It is this ability to stand together that has brought us this far.
I must particularly thank all of you who continue to work in these difficult circumstances. You show remarkable commitment towards our team and your patients, and I respect it absolutely.