Date published: 17 December 2021

Why do you do what you do?      

As one year comes to an end and another begins, it is for me a time for reflection. 

Can it really have been two years since the first cases of coronavirus were identified on 31 December 2019 in Wuhan, China? Since that time we have experienced three national lockdowns, become accustomed to ‘social distancing’, wearing masks, rules of 6, tiers (3 and 4) of COVID restrictions and daily reports of infection levels, hospitalisations and, sadly, deaths.  

The NHS and health and social care have responded magnificently to the greatest public health challenge in a generation and countless lives have been saved by the dedication of doctors, nurses other health professionals and support staff, including here at Nottingham CityCare. We should all take pride in what we have achieved. Everyone has worked so hard, particularly over the last two years of the pandemic, that it is no wonder people are tired and feeling in need of a break.  

All this led me to ask myself why health care workers do what they do. Why do they get up each morning to face a new day of challenges, often including a squeeze on time and resources.   

When I have spoken to front line staff about their motivation they have talked modestly about getting the job done as best they can. Very practical people just want to use their skills to help people. They want to make a difference each and every day. 

Managers, many of whom have worked clinically for large parts of their time, are eager to recruit new staff to boost the welfare and capacity of their teams. Support staff also are so integral to the wider team by providing essential services that all contribute to making a difference to our communities.  

As an organisation CityCare is looking afresh at its mission and priorities, within the context of the new Integrated Care System (ICS) landscape. A whole series of engagement activities with colleagues is taking place to enable us to build on our reputation within the health and care system.  These events are helping us to understand what really matters to our staff and how we can best support everyone across the organisation, from providing the best services through to delivering better health and wellbeing programmes. 

Those of us who make our contribution, not on the front line but in the board-room and working across health and social care systems, have a ‘contract’ to do our level best to support and equip all our colleagues as best we can to meet the current challenges. It is our job to argue for more resources, to work with partners to bring about more fundamental improvement in care systems, and to look after our most precious resource, you, our people. 

We don’t really know what 2022 will bring.  I only know that we depend on you and we, in turn, will work hard not to let you down. We are all in this together.   

Thank you again for everything you do for CityCare and I wish you all the best for the festive season. 

Michael Williams