NHS staff across Bradford district and Craven are asking local people to be kind and remember that they are people too.
In recent weeks, NHS staff in hospitals and GP practices have been on the receiving end of increasing frustration from patients as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.
Small acts of kindness, such as thank you, can make a positive impact on someone’s day, and help staff feel valued and positive about the difference they are making to people’s lives. However, some NHS staff have experienced feeling hurt and scared following comments from patients.
Staff across the NHS are working extremely hard and doing their very best to help people, whilst keeping patients safe, at what is a very difficult time.
Experiences of receptionists working at The Ridge Medical Practice, Bradford
“When a patient has been nasty to me in the past this has scared me, made me feel down and not want to come to work. When a patient has been kind it’s made me feel positive, helpful and good at the job I do.”
“When a patient thanks me for all of my hard work and help, it makes me feel so warm and happy that someone has taken the time to say this to me. It really makes a difference to my day. When a patient expresses how useless and pointless I am, I do sometimes question what I’m doing that is so wrong, apart from following what I have been taught. I’m here to help people not to take abuse and feel low about my position within the practice.”
“The unkindness left me doubting my role as a receptionist, sent me home feeling worthless and empty, lost in a place of frustration and hurt.
“The kindness restores my hope in human kindness, sent me home feeling thankful for the role I have, and happy that I helped make a difference to someone’s life.”
“It is hard for everyone at the moment, please remember we too are human, so please be kind, as your kindness will help us to carry on doing our job in helping you.”
Kindness costs nothing…
Chief Executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Mel Pickup said: “Kindness costs nothing and means everything. We know that kindness in care improves the outcomes for our patients and their families, but kindness in the workplace also improves the experiences of our staff and colleagues; increasing job satisfaction, morale and creating a sense of wellbeing.
“This is critically important, not only at this time when we are all affected in one way or another by the impact of COVID-19 but always, in everything we do at the Trust.”
Brendan Brown, Chief Executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is understandable that people might be frustrated at the moment and we want to thank those who have been so patient and understanding while we once again respond to an increasing number of coronavirus cases. Our hospitals and GP practices are extremely busy treating people both with coronavirus, and other urgent health conditions such as cancer whilst providing essential services such as maternity care and flu clinics.
“Despite these challenges, I’m lucky enough to see kindness every day from colleagues, from patients and their families, and from our communities, which is truly inspiring and uplifting. We should never lose sight of what it means to be kind to one another, and the impact it has”.
Dr James Thomas, GP and clinical chair, NHS Bradford District and Craven clinical commissioning group (CCG) says: “Our NHS staff are just like you, and are just as at risk of getting coronavirus as any other person. They are real people behind their uniforms, from our reception staff, to clinical teams such as doctors and nurses. They are doing their very best to make sure the NHS is still here to help, and that you get the right treatment from the right person.
“We know that services are a bit different to what people may be used to. Appointments are being done over the phone or virtually wherever possible, and we’re asking people who can go online, to please do. I want to reassure people that if your GP thinks you need to see somebody face to face, they will offer you an appointment.
“We understand that things may be difficult for our patients at the moment, but they are also difficult for our staff too. Please be kind and try to remember, we are people too.”
The NHS is still here to help. There is free advice available 24 hours-a-day on both the nhs.uk and 111.nhs.uk websites. Local pharmacists are also able to help with a wide variety of common health issues.
For the latest information about coronavirus, visit nhs.uk/coronavirus