On the anniversary of birth of the NHS, Health and Social Services Minister Eluned Morgan has written to all NHS CEOs, Chief Executives and staff, including those working in social care, to thank them for their efforts over the course of the pandemic.
Eluned Morgan said:
Staff have done incredible work over so many months, in what is one of the most difficult times in the history of our NHS. I want to pay tribute to all of you for your professionalism, innovation and the sheer determination you have shown.
I know you will have worked extremely long hours and that there has been huge pressure on you and your families in these most challenging of circumstances.
You have often been there when loved ones could not be. You have delivered a vaccination programme in which our nation is rightly proud and I want to thank you all.
As we focus on recovery, there will be many more challenges to face. I know that the answer cannot simply be to work longer and work harder. I recognise that you will need time and sometimes support to recover.
Working together we will find the creative new ideas needed to tackle the backlog of people waiting for life changing treatment and to move our services forward. The pandemic has demonstrated how, when we need to, we can be truly transformative and can work with speed and efficiency.
We must never forget that behind every statistic on a waiting list there is a human being who is often living with pain. We must continue to do all we can to alleviate this suffering and to do our best to reduce the time that people need to wait for treatment.
I am deeply aware of the huge responsibility on my shoulders as we tackle the latest phase in the pandemic and start to rebuild and recover our health and social services.
I very much look forward to working with you in the next few months and years and together we will get through this most challenging episode in our history.