Queen Alexandra Hospital boss Mark Cubbon makes plea to Portsmouth residents to follow tier four rules

An open letter from Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS chief executive Mark Cubbon.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 10:28 am
Pictured: Mark Cubbon, Chief Executive of Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, giving a speech. Picture: Habibur Rahman

For the overwhelming support you have shown us and other NHS partner organisations over the last year, we will never be able to say thank you enough. 2020 has been a year like no other and all of us whether we have lost a loved one, worked throughout or isolated at home, have experienced hardship, uncertainty and a whole variety of emotions.

Throughout the spring and summer, many of you stood outside your homes or places of work on a Thursday and clapped, not just for those of us working in the NHS, but for all key workers across the country.

In that first wave we felt the support and encouragement from so many but this pandemic is not over yet and we need to ask for your help again.

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This time last year, we hadn’t really heard of Covid-19 and now it is a constant part of our lives. Since the first wave we have learnt so much about the virus, how it affects us, how it is transmitted and what treatments can help. Outcomes are better than they were, and vaccination will help reduce case numbers and hopefully protect us all in the long run.

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However, right now, cases are higher at QA as we are treating both Covid and non- Covid patients. While we have plans in place to care for more patients affected by the virus, we are under increasing pressure, with more requiring intensive treatment than earlier in the year.

Our whole hospital remains even busier than at this time in a normal winter, which makes maintaining social distancing even harder than usual.

The thousands of individuals who make up Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU) are working tirelessly, as they have done throughout the year, to ensure we continue providing the safe, compassionate care that we would want for our own friends and families.

While we remain open and here for you whenever you need us, we are busy across all services and really need your help to keep the space there for those who need our services most.

We all have a role to play in reducing the spread of Covid-19 and following the guidance issued in our area is the best place for us to start. Please ask your friends and family to continue following the rules, maintain good hand hygiene and wear a mask, if they are able. Use the correct service whether that is your GP practice, pharmacist, minor injuries unit, urgent treatment centre or emergency department and if you aren’t sure which is the right service, contact 111 first for advice.

We know this is tough and we know it is asking a lot, but the rules and the NHS are there for all of us. We know many of you, like us, want to spend time with your friends and loved ones, to visit restaurants, see a show, or just do something that makes you happy.

There is a very clear link however: more contacts lead to more cases of Covid, which will result in more hospital admissions and, unfortunately, more people becoming extremely sick and requiring intensive support. The truth is the less contact we have with others, the less this virus will spread and affect those we love.

By working together earlier in the year, we have shown that we can bring down the rate of transmission and help keep each other safe and take pressure off your hospitals and health services. We now need to do that again.

I for one am proud to be not just the CEO of the QA, but to personally be a part of the community. Queen Alexandra Hospital is my local hospital too and I know will be here for all of us, whenever we need it most.

Mark Cubbon

Chief Executive

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust