A year to reflect – Founder and Clinical Director, Alex Munro

To mark the National Day of Reflection the team at Hallam HQ are looking back at the past year, sharing stories of the challenges we have faced and overcome, what we have learnt and what the new normal looks like.

Founder and Clinical Director, Alex Munro, shares his thoughts on the past year and the effect this has had on healthcare and Hallam Medical.

“Individual resilience has been and still is the shining light of this whole event. This is not surprising to me; I never underestimate how people react to adverse events and how they cope when given little or no choice. Although it has been very hard for some and there have been some incredible personal battles particularly with mental health, but on the whole I think the vast majority have coped incredibly well and every healthcare worker has been amazing. They have remained focused and carried on working to the highest of standards in the face of the virus.

We know a “major incident” occurs on average every 25 to 30 years, but this Covid-19 pandemic that we are living through at the moment is something that nobody (whether you work in healthcare or not) would not or could not have predicted. The continued intensity of work and pressure on the public, and healthcare professionals alike could not have been planned for. It’s definitely never part of any training programme.

Healthcare, and specifically our National Health Service (NHS), has been forced to become more agile than normal and considering the NHS is the world’s fifth largest organisation it has responded in what I feel to be a fairly rapid pace – particularly within Primary & community care!

The decision-making processes it must go through to get it right for everybody understandably felt slow at the beginning, however it was still pretty quick when you consider the actual time scales involved! When the new ‘moves’ were known, staff were reallocated, services closed, patients were educated of what was happening and the new ways of working began to be adopted – I think the NHS has responded strongly and in a coordinated manner.

It has jumped ahead 5 years to embrace technology, video consultations and telephone assessments, are possibly now, the norm and will undoubtedly continue to play a major role in the delivery of healthcare in the future.

At Hallam Medical we were similarly able to react swiftly, ensuring our systems were safe and that our ability to stay connected with everyone remained strong whilst our team adjusted to working from home. We confidently made the decision not to furlough staff or make any redundancies which was the best decision we made as this meant we could react quickly and effectively to meet the changes our clients & their services needed, but also to be the continued friend to our clinicians who have worked so hard.

Communication and humour have been key to us getting through this, I am extremely proud of our team at Hallam as they have really proved that just because we were working from home doesn’t mean we can’t continue to provide the same fantastic service.”