HOW many times has it been said that 2020 was a year like no other?

At the risk of saying the same again, it certainly has been for the NHS staff in Bradford District and Craven.

We want to take this opportunity as we start 2021 to offer a sincere thank you to the people who live in Bradford district and Craven for their support of local health and care services throughout the pandemic.

To everyone who has followed the guidance, missed out on birthdays and religious festivals, all those who have given up so much to keep people safe and local services running, everyone who has volunteered. You’ve been marvellous.

We’d also like to thank all our partners working in health, care and voluntary organisations who have supported the NHS.

Our thoughts are with the families and friends facing a new year without their loved ones.

We talk a lot about families in the NHS, how we’re here to support people from before they are conceived right through to when their lives come to an end.

The NHS is indeed a family in itself and it takes a family to care for families.

We couldn’t have done this without our own family support.

The partner running the long bath after a busy shift, the son putting the kettle on while we work from laptops on dining tables, the nannas and grandads who ring up to see how we’re getting on, the children missing parents who are isolating so they can care for patients safely.

These people don’t get applause on the door step but are as much a part of the NHS family as those who work for the NHS.

We’re moving into a new year, we’ve started to deliver the biggest national vaccine roll-out in history, we’re continuing to work together with people in Bradford district and Craven to make sure this virus is stopped in its tracks. Thank you for your part in this.

From the Bradford district and Craven NHS family to yours, we would like to wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and safe 2021.

BRENDAN BROWN, Chief Executive Officer, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust; HELEN HIRST, Chief Officer, NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG); THERESE PATTEN, Chief Executive, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust; PROFESSOR MEL PICKUP, Chief Executive, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust