Like the many millions of people who applauded the NHS and all key workers, I am incredibly thankful for and inspired by all NHS staff and what they do for our country, especially in our hour of need at this extremely challenging time. The news last night that our Prime Minister is now in intensive care highlights both how indiscriminate and debilitating this virus is, and the incredible need for both resources and highly trained staff to give everyone their best possible chance of recovery.
However, I truly believe we all have a vital contribution to make in reducing the impact of this national crisis. We must all stand together against this unseen enemy and its potential devastating consequences. This is a time for national unity and solidarity. For us to be compassionate and courageous, to come together to support and protect our NHS and care sectors, our communities, our families and friends, and each other.
National unity is being demonstrated in the different sectors of UK society working innovatively, bravely and tirelessly to help. From those incredible frontline staff who continue to place themselves at risk in order to save lives, to those volunteering to support the most isolated and vulnerable, to those giving their money and resources to various appeals designed to support those in need. And similarly, to everyone following instructions regarding social distancing and staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives. This is a battle cry that we will never, ever forget. We are all on the frontline, we all have a role to play and we can all save lives by following this simple instruction. Anyone flouting the rules is letting the country down in the worst possible way.
We are currently witness to a huge outpouring of support from the commercial sector, signalling a new type of entrepreneurial philanthropy centred on innovation and creativity. There are countless examples from the Formula One racing teams working together to produce ventilators, the Ron Dennis Dream Chasing Foundation creating an NHS free meals scheme, Burberry producing Personal Protective Equipment for the NHS, and various lab testing companies working to produce testing kits as a matter of priority. This wide ranging support and desire to help from all sectors of our nation provides hope that we can mitigate the impact of this crisis.
It is evident that the government are working extremely hard to better resource the NHS and ensure staff and patients are protected. However, these challenges will only be exacerbated over the coming weeks at this critical time in the progression of the pandemic. There is much more to be done and I urge our government to continue to mobilise every resource that is available in response to this crisis and leave no offer of help unexplored to help to save even more lives.
At KSS, we are responding to the call to action. With NHS resources so stretched, it is vitally important that we maintain our service as it is a nationally stated goal to ensure, where possible, that pandemic management does not lead to an increase in morbidity and mortality in non-Coronavirus patients. There are however, increasing demands for our enhanced care expertise and we are stepping into the wider pandemic effort. It is my utmost priority to protect our team, ensuring they have the necessary resources and equipment to carry out their roles to the best of their ability and to stay safe.
On another level, Team KSS is involved in local community support initiatives and many are generously volunteering as community responders. In response to our supporter mailing, we have received great support and also some requests for help which we are responding to, from the vulnerable elderly to as far afield as British nationals stranded in New Zealand. Again, I am incredibly proud of our inspirational and hugely caring team who are willing to do whatever is required at this time of national and international need.
Now is the time more than ever for national unity, collaboration and for us all to translate our genuine care for our families, friends and colleagues, for our communities and for our nation into purposeful, generous action. We must all be kind, thoughtful, motivated, and committed in doing whatever possible to support each other and to support the national response. We must also be creative, innovative and flexible in how we provide that support however simple that may be – even a few phone calls to elderly neighbours goes a long, long way.
I truly believe in the power of togetherness and know our physical distance does not detract from the social connectedness created by working in unity across the UK at this time of national crisis. We all have a significant role to play and all of our actions can have meaning and real positive consequence in the fight against this pandemic.
Let’s protect and support each other and be proud of the difference we are all making.
Take care and stay safe and well.
David Welch – Chief Executive
Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex