Coronavirus: South Tyneside NHS boss thanks staff for efforts during 'greatest challenge' in history

NHS staff in Sunderland and South Tyneside have been warned its a “marathon, not a sprint” as a health chief thanked them for their efforts during the coronavirus crisis.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 12:43 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 3:34 pm

The total number of people to have died after testing positive for the virus in the UK is more than 280 at the time of writing.

Although schools, restaurants and venues have been forced to close, NHS staff remain on the frontlines of the pandemic as ‘key workers’.

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Chief executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland  NHS Foundation Trust, Ken Bremner

Chief executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Ken Bremner, published a message of thanks on social media.

He said: “Can I say firstly a big thank you to all our staff whether you’re working in our hospitals or our communities for the professionalism and skill that you’re all showing in helping us get through this current Covid-19 pandemic.

“These are quite unprecedented times in my experience, I’ve worked in the NHS since 1982 and I can’t remember a time that’s anything like this.

“Things are changing quite rapidly and new information is coming out it seems by the hour but certainly daily.

“So not only is it important to look after yourself but also each other too.”

He added: “I do fundamentally believe this will be a marathon, not a sprint.

“It’s arguably the greatest challenge the NHS has faced since its inception in 1948.

“I know that all of you will rise to the challenge as you always do with skill, compassion, dedication and of course with determination.

“Our patients and our communities need us now more than ever.

“So please accept my sincere thanks for what you have done thus far and probably what you’re going to do in coming months as well.”

Symptoms of coronavirus include a high temperature and a “new, continuous cough”.

NHS guidance states that anyone with symptoms should stay at home for seven days.

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms.

The guidance adds: “If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.”

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Official Government guidance can also be found here: