2020 has been one of the most challenging years most of us have experienced. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been unprecedented, but it’s also brought people together in ways we could never have imagined.
Below is just a snapshot of some of the key events, announcements and activities that have taken place…
A brand new General Practice Nursing (GPN) Development Strategy was launched on Monday 20 January to help recruit, retain and further develop Doncaster’s primary care nursing family.
Written by and for primary care nurses, it was a key step in helping to raise the profile and highlight the endless opportunities that a long term career in primary care nursing can bring. It also set out how we will deliver key ambitions set out in the national GPN 10 point action plan.
Co-designed and co-produced with children and young people from the very start, the service, ‘With me in Mind’, aims to reduce waiting lists for mental health support and improve the overall wellbeing of pupils experiencing various mental health issues.
Also in February, Doncaster nurses, health care assistants and wider primary care staff were recognised at an awards ceremony for their care and dedication to help improve the lives of patients and members of the public. Almost 60 nominations were made in 2020 by staff, patients and members of the public, breaking the previous year’s record.
March will always be remembered as the month the first lockdown hit. But before that, staff from NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group and Doncaster Council attended the launch of ‘The Wake Up Call’ sleep manifesto at Westminster with specialist organisations for sleep disorders, The Sleep Charity and The Sleep Council, to champion better sleep for all.
As the first coronavirus wave gripped the nation, each Thursday night the streets were filled with applause as families took to their doorsteps to show appreciation for the nations key workers. From fireworks to singing, these moments lifted the spirit of the those working in the midst of the pandemic with our very our Tracey Helliwell sharing her thanks to key workers in a blog on our website.
International Nurses Day took place on Tuesday 12 May with our Chief Nurse, Andrew Russell writing an open letter to the Doncaster Nursing community to say thank you for their ongoing hard work. We also featured a blog by Lead Nurse for Primary Care Quality, Zara Head in which she described what the day means to her.
Two Doncaster nurses scooped one of the country’s most prestigious awards for being an outstanding nurse working in the community.
Katy Fenn, Clinical Team Leader, Children’s Continuing Healthcare at NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Amybeth Jones, Practice Nurse and Trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioner from Oakwood surgery in Doncaster both received the award for their commitment to providing high levels of patient care and nursing practice.
In June we also celebrated the value and impact of volunteering during national volunteering week which took place from 1 to 7 June 2020. Across Doncaster we saw many incredible acts of kindness as many from the community helped volunteer to help people struggling during the midst of the pandemic.
Sunday 5 July marked the 72nd anniversary of the NHS and as we published our Annual Report, it was a time to reflect on the challenges we’ve faced and the opportunities we’ve embraced as individuals, families and communities.
As part of the new way of working for Team Doncaster, the Inclusion & Fairness Forum was tasked with producing a collective, overarching Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Statement to capture the essence and significance of recent events, whilst encouraging each of the member organisations to do more to tackle inequality, disadvantage, and racism through their own policies, processes and practice.
Over 100 local people, including patients, members of the public, staff and partner organisations joined the first online Annual General Meeting to celebrate and recognise a number of achievements and challenges faced during 2019-20. Due to the Coronavirus situation, NHS Doncaster CCG moved the event to an online format in order to keep people safe and socially distanced.
Also in September, the Health Bus hit the road again to make it easier and more convenient for patients to access local health and care services.
October is Black History Month and this month saw the CCG help facilitate a BAME Network for CCG staff across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw with the aim of devising a framework to support our BAME staff in primary care.
It was also World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10 October with partners from across Doncaster sharing their top tips and own experiences of improving their mental health wellbeing throughout the pandemic.
After extensive engagement with the public and partners, the redesigned Urgent and Emergency Care model was launched in October by the Doncaster Provider Alliance meaning services are delivered together instead of as separate organisations, reducing duplication. This helps ensure people can access the right care and support they need when they need it.
Local health and care organisations launched a new ‘Be Winter Well’ campaign to help Doncaster residents stay as well as possible during the cold winter months. The campaign focuses on informing people of the wide variety of health services available within the town and helping them prepare for winter illnesses and ailments. With coronavirus still in circulation, the campaign also helps people understand how they can best protect their health and support their mental wellbeing during this challenging time.
The first Doncaster Place Plan bulletin was published in November to showcase the work we are doing in partnership across Doncaster to improve health and care services for our local communities.
November was a month of celebration for us here in Doncaster with the news that we achieved our fourth consecutive ‘outstanding’ rating from NHS England and NHS Improvement for 2019-20, and Dr Corlett from The Scott Practice was nominated for a Lifetime Achievement award for the NHS Parliamentary awards.
NHS staff across the country delivered Covid-19 Vaccinations to more than 750,000 people in the first three weeks of the vaccine programme rollout. Ann Duggan was the first person in Doncaster to receive the jab with the 4/5 vaccination sites up and running with the last due to go live in early January.
The Doncaster Provider Alliance also launched a new Wound Care service with plans in place for organisations to deliver care better together from 1 December 2020.
It’s impossible to capture everything in one post – but for a recap of other news stories this year, check out the following link http://www.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/category/news/
What’s ahead in 2021? With approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the largest vaccination programme in NHS history is expanding and we are hopeful we will pull through this incredibly challenging time stronger together.
From everyone at NHS Doncaster CCG, we wish you a happy and healthy 2021.