As we approach the end of a year that we have all found difficult, I wanted to send you a short message of thanks for your continued dedication, kindness, and resilience, in the navigation of another tough twelve months.
This time of year offers us the chance to look back at our achievements and successes, but it is easy to get lost in the challenges, frustration and sadness.
We have treated over 19,000 patients with COVID-19. We have also seen record emergency attendances and unbelievable pressure at the front doors to our services, at the same time as caring for over a million patients in hospital, or in the community, and as we work to tackle the waiting lists that have built up over the pandemic - which are at levels that none of us would ever wish to see.
We, the executive team and I, have also asked far more of you than should be expected; you have gone far above and beyond the call of duty for our patients, and each other, day in, day out.
But you, together with our 22,000-strong team have achieved an extraordinary amount - despite the continued impact of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of yet a further wave.
You have saved, changed, or even delivered into the world, countless lives. And as Simon Ball regularly reminds me, of the 19,000 COVID patients we have treated, more than 15,000 have survived. The vast majority of these patients may have died without your care and treatment.
Teams are still working hard and at pace to transform access to our emergency pathways so that we can see and treat very sick patients who need us now. And teams are working to ensure the successful recovery of our elective services, so that we can provide more life-changing and complex care that we all strive to deliver.
What is abundantly clear, is that what we can muster as an organisation is an unmatched level of skill, energy, and enthusiasm. An organisation that is well connected to its communities; one that can make bold and transformational changes to improve the lives of the staff and people that we serve; and one that offers kindness in everything we do.
It is only because of you and our entire team across all our hospitals, sites and community services, that I believe we are best placed to move into a New Year. Sadly, this may be through a further wave of COVID, but into a recovery accelerated by the most amazing team in the NHS: University Hospitals Birmingham.
I have never been more proud to lead such a team.
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.