Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, paid tribute to the NHS staff of the Royal Victoria Infirmary at the end of last month, one year after the two first COVID patients in the UK were admitted into the hospital. Since that day, 29th January 2020, hospitals all over the country have treated more than 320,000 patients with the virus.
Ahead of his visit to the RVI, Sir Simon Stevens said: “On behalf of families and patients across the country, we thank staff across the NHS for their extraordinary work in a year like no other. The Coronavirus pandemic is the greatest public health emergency in NHS history, but in the past 12 months the NHS has achieved things many would have thought impossible”.
Dr Matt Schmid, the consultant who led the team that treated the first two patients, also said: “Looking back a year on, it is incredible to think that my team treated what would be the first of many tens of thousands of COVID-19 patients across the country".
"Although an unknown disease at the time, we were prepared to care for those first patients and experienced the beginning of huge changes to the way the whole health service delivers care”.
Since the start of the pandemic, the NHS has provided the most intense level of intensive care for more than 26,000 patients, whilst also continuing to provide other emergency care.
On top of this, the NHS is currently rolling out the biggest vaccination programme in its history. There is now a network of more than 1,400 vaccination services in the UK.
The NHS has achieved things many would have thought impossible”Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive