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Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP, joined by National Clinical Director Jason Leitch, visited University Hospital Hairmyres (Monday 31 August) to thank staff for their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic and to see how the hospital has changed as services recover.

They toured different areas of the hospital, including the emergency department, the intensive treatment unit and ward 10 which was used to treat patients with Covid-19.

Along the way, they took the opportunity to speak with frontline staff to hear about their experience in dealing with Covid-19 while maintaining safe services for patients.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman: “This is the first time I have been able to visit a hospital in a very long time and it was great to hear first-hand about all of the work staff did and how well they worked together to make sure patients were treated with dignity, compassion and supreme skill.

“I would like to thank all our NHS staff, whatever their role, they are so appreciated. As we move on to try and control the virus, and to stop it spreading in the community, our health staff remain as important and valued as they every have been.”

Elma Whyte, senior charge nurse in ward 10, said: “It was a pleasure to meet Jason Leitch and Jeane Freeman. We really appreciate that they took the time to come to Hairmyres and ward 10 in particular to speak with us.

“I am so proud of the team in ward 10 and the extraordinary efforts we have put in during the pandemic. From making sure we kept family and friends informed about their loved ones by making phone calls and organising video calls to making sure our ward was as safe as it could possibly be; not one staff member on our ward caught Covid-19.

Jason Leitch said; “What a wonderful privilege it has been to come and visit Hairmyres and meet some of the staff who have been very busy during the pandemic.

“It has been terrific to hear the individual personal stories of how staff stepped up and what they did differently and they changes that were made which are going to be maintained. It was also interesting to hear about some of the challenges faced with treating patients.

“This resilience from staff is one of the most important things we are going to need going into the winter where this virus will still be around. Thanks to all our NHS staff for what they did over the last few months.”

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