Reflecting on the last 6 months

Looking back to my last blog in January I have reflected on how much has changed.  Then I talked about my nervousness as my first festive period as medical director loomed and our first as out of hours provider. In retrospect, all the hard work to make that a success was the groundwork for a much larger challenge to come.


COVID-19: A lot of lessons to be learnt

A lot has been said about COVID. All I want to add is how proud I am to have been a part of the Suffolk response. I have witnessed hard work, lateral thinking, compassion, partnership working and collaboration. I have had so many meetings and conversations with colleagues and yet not once can I remember feeling anything other than support and a common purpose to achieve the best outcomes for the population we serve in a strange and difficult time.

Early on someone said we must “not waste a crisis” and more recently we have talked about how we can keep the good and leave behind the bad. For me this means the massive change to online meetings which has allowed me to be more present and more efficient (although I think going forward, we need to make sure we keep thinking time and not overfill our diaries with meetings). Small but key improvements like EPS in out of hours. A fantastic chance to be able to get to know and work with colleagues I have not met before – and I thank my colleagues in the west of Suffolk and in partner organisations for bearing with me and being patient while I learn.

Thank you to all the clinicians who stepped forward to man the pandemic visiting service and support the out of hours provision. We have all learned a lot about remote consulting and a massive well done across the patch for how quickly you all learned to be flexible and work differently. Our thoughts are with those of you who are shielding or have been unwell and for anyone who is struggling with wellbeing.


Looking to the future

The next chapter is being written and the new normal will include a blend of old – including high clinical standards and tried and tested good practice, and new – PCNs and remote working amongst them.

Please look after yourselves and each other. Please use GP Practitioner Health which is detailed later or any of the other support services below:


Dr Ruth Bushaway, Medical Director