Minute's silence at Forth Valley Royal Hospital to mark National Day of Reflection

Staff at Falkirk’s Forth Valley Royal Hospital joined the National Day of Reflection to mark the first anniversary of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Allan Crow & Michael Gillen
Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 4:44 pm

At noon today, Philip Hacking, hospital chaplain, led them in a minute’s silence outside the main entrance to mark the anniversary of the first national lockdown coming into force.

The initiative was led by Marie Curie to reflect on the nation’s collective loss, support those who have been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future.

It was a poignant moment for hospital staff who have been in the frontline of the pandemic since the very first day.

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National Day of Reflection at Forth Valley Royal Hospital (Pic: Michael Gillen)

They were joined by Cathie Cowan, chief executive of NHS Forth Valley, who admitted the moment sparked many mixed emotions.

She said: “We look back on those we lost and the relatives who are still grieving - and we also recall the people who have recovered but are still suffering.”

She said the anniversary also brought hope as more people were vaccinated.

It brought “a spirit that needs to lift us to a better place.”

National Day of Reflection at Forth Valley Royal Hospital (Pic: Michael Gillen)

She added: “The lessons for me are the kindness and compassion people have shown, not just in health services but beyond as we work together as a country to build resilience and move forward.”

National Day of Reflection at Forth Valley Royal Hospital (Pic: Michael Gillen)

Andrea Fyfe, director of acute services at NHS Forth Valley, reflected on the impact lockdown has had on the health service.

“As seasons changed so have the patients who presented to us as the pandemic took hold of both our local and national population.

“There are some poignant stories in my mind about patients we cared for over the months and how live that felt and real it was for families and staff who got very, very involved with them - while also looking after patients with no Covid and making them as safe as we could.”

Looking beyond the anniversary, she added: “We are putting together a re-mobilisation plan, how we recover, and get patients back in

“We want patients to trust that this is a safe place to come and get the world class health care we want to deliver.

“The teams are looking forward to the future.”

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