NHS in Gloucestershire pledges to remember those who lose their lives to Covid-19

The NHS in Gloucestershire has today come together to launch the ‘Every Name a Person’ campaign.

The aim is to highlight its commitment to ensuring that nobody who loses their life as a result of the Covid-19 virus is seen as just a number or forgotten.

Everyone in our community must now face the prospect of these most challenging and tragic events. Despite the continuing brilliance of NHS and care staff, it is inevitable that we will have to make decisions and act in ways which may not allow for the kind of end of life care that we have fought so hard to achieve in Gloucestershire.

The campaign, inspired by Dr Emma Husbands, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and her colleagues working together in the One Gloucestershire End of Life Collaborative pledges to never forget that:

Every name is a person.

Every person a life lived.

Every life a story behind it.

Deborah Lee, Chief Executive at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust explained:

“Sadly, we know that some local families will lose their loved ones as a result of Covid-19, and we understand how distressing it will be not to be with them at the end of their lives.

We pledge to recognise that every person we treat in our hospitals and in our communities has a story. Whilst we may have little time to get to know each person, we will learn something that matters, provide comfort and endeavour to ensure they are not alone in their final moments.”

Dr Emma Husbands, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust added:

“As our community faces its biggest challenge for generations, it is inevitable that we will have to act in ways that may not allow us to provide the kind of end of life care that we have fought so hard to achieve across Gloucestershire.

 

We cannot take away the distress of maybe not being with loved ones at the end of their lives, or that the choices we would wish to be available for everyone simply will not be possible, but we can make this commitment to you from us all as health and social care professionals. We won’t ever forget that every patient we treat is a person, with a life lived and a wonderful story behind it.”

John Trevains, Director of Nursing, Therapies and Quality at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“As health professionals we have the privilege of supporting people in their final weeks, days and hours throughout our careers. The rapid spread of Coronavirus has brought that role into sharp focus and we are determined to do whatever we can to ensure that those we lose in our communities are given the dignity and respect they so clearly deserve.

These are unusual and challenging times and our usual processes and behaviours are being disrupted. That doesn’t mean, however, that the people we care for at the end of their lives through this crisis will become another statistic.”

Dr Andy Seymour, Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) added:

“Across our community, in hospitals and homes, we will always endeavour to support families to share in their relative’s last hours. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, health and care professionals may not always be able to support families in the way we would normally aspire to, and the choices that we would wish to be available for everyone won’t always be possible.

We want to reassure the local population that any deaths related to the virus are not a just a number or statistic that you hear on the news, every name is a person and we will remember them.”

Advice and support for people dealing with bereavement can be found by visiting www.onegloucestershire.net/enap.