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Caroline Clarke chief executive (NHS ROYAL FREE) Begging staff to cancel & return from annual leave.

A message from our chief executives Urgent appeal to staff on leave or with planned leave

Our hospitals are under huge pressure – COVID-19 hospitalisations are increasing sharply with more patients requiring critical care beds. To ensure we can continue to provide safe care, we need your help. If you are on leave, or have leave planned over the coming days, please can you defer to support our efforts. This is particularly important for clinical staff, but everybody has a part to play and non-clinical staff can be trained and redeployed on site where help is needed. This is especially important over the next few days, when more staff traditionally plan to take leave, and we have significant staff shortages on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. But this pressure will continue for the foreseeable future and your ongoing support is going to be crucial in us getting through. To support these ongoing efforts, please contact your line manager to discuss any annual leave you may have booked, and ensure that all your annual leave arrangements are in line with the urgent changes made by the COVID executive group last week. This means that no more than five days’ total annual leave, including bank holidays and time off in lieu, can be taken between Monday 21 December and mid-February. Any additional leave should be rearranged to help support our hospitals. Staff on e-roster will also receive a text message, and a call from the deployment team/workforce, requesting they defer their leave. Calls will be made from trust telephone numbers, which may appear on your phone as 'no caller ID' or 'number unknown'. As was the case in the first COVID surge, colleagues will be able to carry over annual leave not taken into 2021/22. We are also looking for all clinicians to work additional shifts over the coming weeks. We will offer the relevant training to staff who are redeployed to any area in which they do not usually work. Staff are reminded that if they are working a bank holiday or unsocial hours they will receive the relevant enhancements. Our operational teams have been working hard over the festive period to identify extra capacity in our trust – and across the region – to deal with this second COVID-19 surge. This includes temporarily pausing all non-urgent planned procedures/operations and non-urgent and consultant led out-patient services. We will be considering pausing other services as the position develops. Thank you to all of you for everything you have done in 2020, and to those who have been working over the festive period - we recognise this is not the way any of us would have hoped to end the year. And thank you in advance for your support and flexibility now and over the coming weeks. It is important that we continue to support, and be kind to one another during this time. Please ensure you visit our resilience and emotional support team (REST) area of Freenetto access the support available. Caroline Clarke Group chief executive Deborah Sanders Chief executive, Barnet Hospital Natalie Forrest Chief executive, Chase Farm Hospital Kate Slemeck Chief executive, Royal Free Hospital

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