Today marks one year since the national COVID-19 lockdown and a National Day of Reflection.

Oxford Health, part of the NHS, provides physical, mental health and social care for people of all ages across our communities in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset.

On hand to serve a population of about two million, our 7,000 staff work around the clock to provide high quality care – and throughout the pandemic they’ve worked harder than ever before.

From doctors, nurses, clinicians and members of operations teams, based across wards in a community hospital, Minor Injuries or First Aid Units, out in the community, in a school, specialist unit/service to working from home behind the scenes – each staff member has a vital role which has only been magnified under the tests of COVID-19.

Standing together as a trust and looking after each other has brought teams strength, compassion, teamwork and so much more whilst dealing with challenges and sadly loss.

As part of the National Day of Reflection, led by the charity Marie Curie, Oxford Health observed a minute’s silence at noon across the trust to remember those lost during the pandemic. Board members, executives and service directors lit candles as a symbol of remembrance and unity, whilst offering condolences to those in our communities who have lost loved ones.

A staff webinar hosted by the Chief Executive Dr Nick Broughton gave staff the opportunity to share their reflections and thanks of the last year – a moment to reflect and look back.

Dr Broughton, said: “It has been a remarkable year for Oxford Health and the wider NHS.

“Each Oxford Health family member’s commitment, dedication and passion to what we do as an organisation has enabled us to continue to provide fantastic care to our patients and service users. It has helped us to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and for that I and my colleagues on the Board and the Executive team are extremely grateful.”

Trust Chair, David Walker, also offered his thoughts to colleagues, “Today we’ve drawn together as colleagues and co-workers to recollect and to regret and perhaps in reaching out and sharing our experiences during COVID-19 to find not just solace but a way of replenishing the emotional reserves we are surely going to need.

“The Board are deeply grateful for where we are now, and we will continue to pick up the pieces. I express the Board’s thanks to staff for their tremendous hard work.”

Head of Spiritual & Pastoral Care, Guy Harrison, added “Taking time to remember is as old as humanity itself and is I believe essential at a time of change, transition, and recovery. Remembering allows me to honour and respect those who have died. Remembering reminds me of the privilege of caring and of working with such resourceful colleagues. Remembering helps me to recognise the personal cost as together we have sought to provide care whilst sometimes feeling alone, fearful and stretched to capacity and beyond. Remembering helps me to understand, acknowledge and learn from the past; make sense of the present; and seek to understand what is important in my life and in the lives of those around me.

“As we take time to remember, we can find personal and societal healing and understanding as we honour the full cycle of life and death.”

We want to extend our thanks to our communities for following restrictions and making sacrifices to help protect the NHS and save lives. Our staff truly appreciate your endless words of thanks and encouragement, as well as the kind gestures and donations given to Oxford Health Charity.

We take the opportunity to remind everyone to continue to work with the NHS over the coming months to protect yourselves, loved ones and others.

To the Oxford Health family – today is for you, to recognise your hard work as we continue to unite as #OneOHFT.