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The Director of Health and Social Care in South Lanarkshire has described the inspirational commitment of staff as they continue to weather ‘relentless’ pressures.

Soumen Sengupta has also appealed for continued public support and patience as staff work around-the-clock in response to the Omicron variant.

Writing in a special edition online Christmas Q&A, Mr Sengupta stated: “The pressures created by the pandemic are relentless.

“What most, what all, staff really need is some certainty, some time to catch their breath – but unfortunately that is not in anyone’s gift for now.

“At the same time, I can’t help but be inspired and motivated by the compassion, the commitment and the team spirit that colleagues bring to their work each and every day.”

Since coming into post in August, Mr Sengupta has personally visited many health and social care sites, services and partners across the South Lanarkshire area.

He said: “From our clinics to our cottage hospitals, our day care to our care homes, our treatment rooms to our vaccination centres, and our children’s houses to our family centres – what I have been impressed with from my on-site visits is the kindness of colleagues and pride in what their teams do.

“And from the conversations I have enjoyed with patients, service users and carers, it is clear that kindness and commitment makes a big difference to the quality of their experiences too.”

In the Q&A, Mr Sengupta also thanks the people of Lanarkshire for their support – and, speaking directly to the public, asks for continued kindness and understanding.

“Your safety and wellbeing continues to be central to what we do and the decisions we are making – and everyone being Covid-safe and Covid-sensible is critical to our doing that.

“I really appreciate your patience as we prioritise the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Despite emphasising that his focus is on the here and now, Mr Sengupta also reflects on the journey of the partnership since the onset of COVID-19.

He said: “We recently published our Annual Performance Report for the previous year and it packs quite a punch. Person-centred care and partnership working really reverberates through all our work – and that is undoubtedly going to stand us in good stead going forward.”

He added: “Looking ahead, my main feeling is one of appreciation: for everyone right across our services and for whom I have the privilege of having a responsibility for. And an appreciation that now more than ever, it will continue to be important that we look out for one another and draw strength from working as a team for the greater good.”


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