A new opportunity to renew

The pandemic has created opportunities to change the way we are working to make not only services better for patients but also better for our staff. As we now look to see how some services can be reinstated safely we will also be looking at how the incident has highlighted improvements.

The Trust has been at the forefront of the national and international efforts to find a vaccine and treatment for the virus by taking part in research trials. We took part in a national trial to understand more about hospital acquired transmission for acute settings. The results have not yet been published however they indicate there was very little transmission in our acute hospitals at that time which reassured us that our processes to keep people safe are working.

Our pathology labs continue to undertake testing of all inpatients and any staff who require it. They are also carrying out antibody testing which will inform national guidance in the future.

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The weekly clap of thanks

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Every week for 10 weeks each Thursday at 8pm Cumbria’s communities came together on their doorstops to clap and say thanks to NHS staff and key workers.

People banged their pots and pans to take part in a minute of applause.

Staff at our hospital sites have been joined by colleagues from other emergency services. They stood 2m apart following social distancing guidelines and joined in the applause. Our Trust staff felt proud to be recognised in this way and it was important for the NHS to say thank you back to our communities for their part in helping keep everyone safe. Everyone has had a crucial part to play in this incident.

John Howarth, Deputy Chief Execuitve said:

What we wanted to do was to clap back to all our communities, to thank people for staying at home, thank people who are working to keep the supermarkets going, to keep the transport network going, people who are working in care homes our social care colleagues. We have been quite touched in the NHS and the emergency care services and it made me proud to live and work in this area.


Supermarkets introduced special shopping hours for NHS staff so they could buy fresh produce before heading to work to save lives.

We’ve received and abundance of other extremely kind donations including some Easter Eggs for our Childrens ward at the Cumberland Infirmary which went down a treat!


We have also been working with the national charity ‘Salute the NHS’ who have been providing NHS trusts with variety of direct delivery food offers. These have been delivered far and wide to members of staff across the Trust with the help of First Responders and the North West Ambulance service. These deliveries have given our staff a much needed boost and are greatly appreciated.

Homes were decorated with rainbows and chalked messages were written on driveways to thank NHS staff. Sometimes real rainbows made an appearance too! 

Thank you

All of the efforts to manage the situation would not be possible without our fantastic workforce, both our frontline staff and those working behind the scenes, without them things would look very different.

Likewise, because our local communities have stayed at home, the difference this has made in protecting our NHS has not gone unnoticed and we are really grateful for the support.

We have also received an incredible amount of support from local people and local businesses who have donated items to us. We have received hundreds of donations and our online charity Just Giving page has reached over £41,000 and with the Charities Together we now have £120,000.

Coming soon, part 2 of ourcovidstory

As we move into the next phase of our covid story we are undertaking a great deal of work to ensure our hospitals are covid secure with social distancing modifications in place and preparing to introduce the use of face masks in hospital settings. We have found working with our trust union representatives very valuable in addressing concerns raised by staff and we will be reflecting on lessons learned for the future including how we can improve communication within teams, more fit testing and building on mutual aid between organisations.