I have worked in the NHS for 27 years, currently as a consultant gastroenterologist.
Over the last 18 months the NHS has witnessed the most challenging circumstances in its 73 year history. Covid-19 has placed intense and sustained pressure on NHS personnel with clinical staff working under the most extreme and often harrowing circumstances for prolonged periods, day after day, month after month. Their dedication, skill and compassion to patients and their relatives along with their warmth, friendship and support for one another has been humbling and inspiring. Non-clinical staff, without whom the NHS could not operate, have also been under great pressure coping with the necessary adjustments in working practices required to cope with the clinical pressures of Covid-19, the extra work involved in managing the crisis and supporting front line services.
Similarly the countless other individuals who have come forward as volunteers to help the NHS vaccination programme and beyond are a testament to the breadth of support and hard work across the service of which we can be justly proud and ever grateful.
All of the above have similarly been supported by the help and generosity of countless individuals, organisations, local businesses and the wider community. Over the past 18 months, many have witnessed the most inspiring collective effort and commitment to compassionate and high quality patient care that will be forever remembered with pride and affection.
To all those who have worked and assisted in this extraordinary endeavour, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Ian Kingsbury on behalf of all Devon Freemasons would like to say a sincere and heartfelt thank you.