Three members of our High Consequence Infectious Diseases (HCID) team are today on the NHS’s 73rd birthday attending a special service of commemoration and thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Hosted by NHS England, the socially distanced service will recognise the dedication and commitment of all those who have played their part in combating coronavirus across the NHS, care sector and beyond.
Maz Hoyle, Infectious Diseases Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and Matrons Suzanne Marshall and Angela Gillespie, are representing the Liverpool University Hospital’s Infectious Diseases team.
The team were some of the first NHS colleagues in the country to care for a positive COVID-19 patient, as the specialist unit at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital is one of only five HCID Treatment Centres in England.
The expert team assisted at the quarantine centre at Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral, where British citizens who had been repatriated from Wuhan and passengers from the affected Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan were staying in isolation. As a result the unit received one of the first COVID patients and were critical in the country’s initial response to the pandemic.
They will join 80 other NHS colleagues from around the country at the service, alongside NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis, and England’s Chief Nurse Ruth May, among others.
Maz Hoyle said: “I was so overwhelmed for the nomination and opportunity to attend this amazing event. Although the three of us are attending, we will be representing the Infectious Diseases department at the Trust as whole. We are honoured to attend such a special occasion.”
Steve Warburton, Chief Executive of Liverpool University Hospitals, said: “I am incredibly proud of all our staff here at Liverpool University Hospitals. The challenges they have had to overcome this year whilst providing outstanding patient care is nothing short of inspiring.
“Our infectious diseases team played a huge role in how we responded as a Trust to COVID, and it’s great news that Maz, Suzanne and Angela have been invited to this special service to represent the team. The recognition is very well deserved.”
NHS Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens said: “The NHS’s anniversary follows a uniquely challenging year for the health service and for the country. Twelve months ago, we all hoped the worst of coronavirus was behind us, but instead amazing NHS staff had to contend with a winter wave of infections even greater than the first.
“They rose to the challenge, not just providing care to coronavirus and other patients but, supported by volunteers and countless others, have also delivered the NHS COVID Vaccine programme with unrivalled speed and precision.
“This service is an opportunity for the whole country to reflect on the toll the virus has taken since the start of the pandemic and give thanks to the nurses, doctors, therapists, paramedics and countless other NHS staff, other key workers and everyone else including all those members of the public who played their full part”.
Photos: (1) Suzanne Marshall and Maz Hoyle, (2) Angela Gillespie and Maz Hoyle in their HCID PPE at the start of the pandemic