Shropshire hospitals boss: Have yourselves a merry little Christmas

Read the latest column from Dr Arne Rose, medical director at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

Dr Arne Rose
Dr Arne Rose

“Someday soon, we all will be together, if the fates allow; until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow. So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.”

The words to one of my favourite Christmas songs, written in 1943, seem strangely prophetic for this year.

2020 has been an incredibly hard year for all of us. Most people have not seen loved ones anywhere near as much as they would have liked, and for many a much-needed hug still seems an impossibly long way away.

The announcement at the weekend of tighter restrictions for Christmas will have altered plans for many of you at the 11th hour.

Many of my healthcare colleagues have made tremendous sacrifices in the wake of this pandemic to ensure they could remain on the frontline to help our patients.

Families have been divided, many have had to self-isolate and for so many Friday will be a normal working day, when they won’t get to sit down with their family and enjoy the indulgence of the season.

I want to thank everyone who has made sacrifices as we came together to tackle coronavirus.

I want to thank all of my colleagues for the incredible work happening every day. I want to thank our patients, and their loved ones, for the understanding they have shown when we had to suspend visiting for all but a few.

I want to thank everyone who came to their doorsteps to clap for us, and everyone who supported us, and continues to support us, with donations, whether that be money, products or simply the gift of their time.

As the song says: “Someday soon, we all will be together, if the fates allow”.

Our fate is in the hands of the vaccines that have been developed with remarkable swiftness. Work is ongoing to open further vaccination sites across Shropshire and we hope to have some news on new vaccination sites soon.

But vaccinating sufficient numbers of the population for us to return to ‘normality’ is not a rapid process.

That, unfortunately, means having a merry little Christmas. It is not what any of us would have wanted but it is important to do what is best for you and your loved ones.

However you celebrate, I hope you have a lovely, peaceful Christmas and let’s all look forward to a better 2021.

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