A day for reflection on a national tragedy

23 March 2021


Commenting on the one-year anniversary of the first national lockdown and the national day of reflection, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:

"No one could ever have imagined the terrible toll COVID-19 would wreak on our lives when we went into our first national lockdown this time last year.

"Today is a day for reflection. A day when we reflect on the 146,000 people who have lost their lives to COVID-19 over the past year. This has been a national tragedy and behind each and every death will be a story of sorrow and grief.

We owe a deep debt of gratitude to NHS and care staff who have done everything they can throughout this pandemic to support and care for patients.

Chris Hopson    Chief Executive

"We owe a deep debt of gratitude to NHS and care staff who have done everything they can throughout this pandemic to support and care for patients. We thank them for their ongoing commitment, professionalism, and compassion during what has been the toughest year in the NHS' 72-year history.

"And we pay tribute to the public who have paid a heavy price, enduring month after month of lockdown to keep their friends, families, neighbours and communities safe from this terrible disease. The public's sacrifice over the past year meant the NHS was never overwhelmed, though we came perilously close to that in some places over the last three months.

"The public's observance of the lockdown rules allowed the NHS to provide care and treatment to COVID-19 patients while continuing to deliver day-to-day care including operations, diagnostic tests, and cancer treatments.

"The vaccination programme gives us much hope for the future, but we are not out of danger yet. The virus has the potential to destroy many more lives if we ease restrictions too quickly. We must stay the course."

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