A year to reflect – CEO Deborah McCain

National Day of Reflection

2020 will forever be remembered for COVID-19. As we mark the anniversary of the first lockdown, we take a look back at the year, the challenges we have faced and overcome, and the positives that are a result of of being put in this situation.

As we start to be able to see light at the end of the tunnel we thought we would take this opportunity to reflect and share throughout the week how Covid-19 has impacted us as a business and indeed how it has impacted our personal lives.

On this day 365 days ago, we were aware of Covid-19 but life appeared to be ‘normal’. We went about our daily life in relative ease, not questioning our freedom – happily taking for granted the little things; the importance of a handshake, the difference a smile not hidden by a mask can make, the reassurance of a hand on the shoulder or indeed the importance of a hug and of course socialising with friends, family and colleagues.

Hallam Medical CEO Deborah McCain shares her thoughts on the impact Covid-19 has had both on Hallam Medical, our team at Hallam HQ and the changes that we have made to overcome the challenges that have been thrown our way.

“I don’t think anyone would have imagined we would live through and experience a global pandemic and I really hope no one will do again.

Although we have all had to change the way we live and operate, we have all suffered heartbreak. For me, personally, feeling starved of my family has been one of the most difficult things I have had to manage.

Both professionally and personally I have wanted to ensure that no risks were taken, rules were being followed, but doing this has come at a cost. Not being able to hug and hold onto those you love most in the world is not something anyone wants to go through, especially when we are living in fear that you may never see them again. This is a fear that has been felt universally and for many has unfortunately become a reality. My heart broke daily for those who have lost loved ones during this last year and we have also lost clinicians to Covid-19.

At Hallam Medical I don’t think many things have remained the same. However, our team’s commitment to supporting services and our clinicians has continued and has gone from strength to strength. We have always been a very close-knit team, and this has not altered despite where we work and how we work changing.

I have been so impressed by our team’s commitment and drive to keep pushing forward even in the most difficult and challenging circumstances. Their support for one another and their ability to recognise when they have needed to offer a virtual hug has been inspiring.

There have been challenges both from within the Hallam Medical team and from our team of clinicians. We have had to learn how to communicate through a screen, and how to motivate our teams and ourselves when we are working from home, alone, staring at the same four walls.

Although embracing the new ways of communicating with each other virtually has been a challenge, we have managed to keep the impact on our clinicians and clients to a minimum.

We have seen an impact on our clients and there has been a significant impact and change to their services and managing this throughout the last year has been challenging. Whether that has been standing down and redeploying workforces to safely manage patient needs or switching to the use of technology to see and treat patients has meant we have been able to support our clients in offering life-changing lifelines for many.

The way we do things at Hallam Medical has always been different, we have always looked after our teams both at Hallam HQ and our wider clinical teams. The good way we treat people and look after them has been highlighted further during this pandemic. I am proud of the way we have continued to support our colleagues when they have been going through what has been some toughest of times and their support for us continues to be so important to us.

This last year has been very difficult at times, we have laughed, we have cried, we have screamed but we have done it together!  There have been moments where we have felt low but there have also been real highs. I remember the announcement that we had a vaccine approved and the programme was going to be rolled out. I am proud that our team of clinicians have, not only, been a huge part of this vaccination role out but I have been proud of the care they have delivered throughout this has and continues to be incredible.”