25 October 2020 Appeal from Bishop Noel Treanor on behalf of Health Workers


“Together we can save lives”

My dear sisters and brothers, I want to make an urgent appeal this morning on behalf of all Health Workers in our hospitals, GP surgeries and Care Homes.

For the weeks and months ahead, as individuals and collectively, we need to do all we can to increase our care for the safety, well-being and health of all NHS and Care workers.

All who work in our hospitals and Nursing Homes are under immense pressure – nurses, ambulance teams, paramedics, doctors, surgeons, consultants, administrative and cleaning Staff.

  • Many of these frontline workers and medical personnel were not able take a decent break during the summer months: their profound sense of duty and desire to catch up on hospital Waiting Lists took precedence.
  • Within some Trusts, in full compliance with PHA guidance, significant numbers of staff are currently off work facing personal sickness or self-isolating.
  • This situation, coupled with the approaching winter pressures on hospital admittance, gives rise to increased pressures upon staff allocation in our hospitals and this impacts upon the level of medical care provision that they can offer.

Further to these concerns, there is the pervasive danger of increased levels of societal infection for medical, nursing and all health staff due to public carelessness in failing to carry out the simple measures that mitigate against the transmission of Covid-19.

As a society, we cannot afford to contribute to increased risk levels for our Health Workers when they do their shopping, fuel their cars or carry out all those essential tasks which we all go about every day. We need to do all we can to protect them, as we meet and encounter them in public spaces, so that they can protect us, our hospitalised loved ones and neighbours.

From March to June past, clapping of hands from our doorsteps and sidewalks, we saluted the heroism of our all NHS staff.  We followed the Public Health Guidance that reduced the transmission of the virus. I have no doubt that the actions that we all took saved lives, the lives of our loved ones and families.

Now, and in the weeks and months ahead, our care for Health Care Workers and their work for all of us urgently needs to be made concrete in positive action and in thoughtfulness. We must wash and sanitise our hands regularly, wear our masks, observe social-distancing and give priority to keeping ourselves, all Health Workers and others safe.

These simple actions will save lives.

So, mindful of those working in surgeries, clinics, hospital wards and theatres, let’s recognise and name that other threatening virus – the virus of self-centred, heedless egocentrism. Instead, let’s make thoughtfulness for all, and especially care for our heroic and pressurised Health Workers and Carers, our motto and guiding star for the months ahead.

Acting together, with thoughtfulness, we can save lives, lower the infection rate, protect our Heath Workers and face down fear.