Message of thanks to NHS staff

Over the last few weeks we have all witnessed staff and colleagues across the NHS being under tremendous pressure. It’s been really tough with extra demand that the winter season has placed on us and our resources.

Staff have been working hard from minute to minute, hour by hour, to make sure that patients are looked after in the same caring way we strive for, and we are immensely grateful for that. We have come to expect that NHS staff will go above and beyond to do the right things by their patients, but that doesn’t make us any less proud.

The public quite rightly have great confidence in the NHS and its staff; and with 1 in 50 people working in the NHS that’s a lot of people going the extra mile.

Recently we’ve seen an increase in the numbers of people suffering from really unpleasant seasonal illnesses and flu so we would still urge any staff who haven’t already done so, to get their flu vaccination. It’s certainly not too late and it works within a couple of weeks.

Many people ask when will things improve for staff and patients; well the truth is that major change is already happening but the system wide transformation we need across primary care, ambulances and in our hospitals will take several years, plus political, public and healthcare workers’ support.

Medicine has moved on in many ways and our patients have changed greatly so we, the NHS, must change too.  With the NHS’ 70th birthday this year it’s time to celebrate what we have achieved, and carry that pride into our future NHS.

Keith Willett

Professor Keith Willett is the Director for Acute Care to NHS England and is the Professor of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery at the University of Oxford. An NHS consultant surgeon for 24 years he has extensive experience of trauma care, driving service transformation and healthcare management.  He has taught surgery and leadership extensively across the NHS and internationally.

In 2003 he founded the Kadoorie Centre for Critical Care Research and Education focusing on the treatment of critically ill and injured patients. This year IMPS, a children’s safety charity he launched, celebrated 20 years and over 250,000 children trained in risk awareness, first aid and life support.

He was the co-founder of the unique 24-hour consultant-resident Oxford Trauma Service at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in 1994. Building on that model, in 2009 he was appointed the first National Clinical Director for Trauma Care to the Department of Health and was charged with developing and implementing government policy across the NHS to radically improve the care of older people with fragility hip fractures and to establish Regional Trauma Networks and Major Trauma Centres. By 2012 both re-organisations and care pathways were successfully in place and are now credited with marked improvement in patient care and survival.

In his current role, he has the national medical oversight of acute NHS services ranging from pre-hospital and ambulance services, emergency departments, urgent surgery, acute medicine, children’s and maternity, armed forces, and health and justice services and national major incidents. He is now leading the transformation of the urgent and emergency care services across the NHS in England.

He was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Years Honour’s List in 2016 for services to the NHS.  On receiving this honour he said “I have been exceptionally privileged to build a career as part of the collective commitment of so many dedicated individuals and friends who are our NHS”.


  1. Lee Zakis says:

    I just want to thank all who work at the eye outpatients at Derby Royal I’m 35 have diabetes and my eye sight has suffered due to poor control I have had a lot of laser surgery and now injections in one eye and am waiting for an operation on the other my eye sight has improved it has been a worrying time for me I suffer from depression aswell but all this help and the caring staff are getting me through it and giving me hope

  2. Natalie H says:

    Thank you to the amazing staff at Queen’s Medical Centre (Nottingham) who cared for and removed my 7 year old son’s brain tumour. I have nothing but the greatest respect and appreciation to all there. A billionaire could not have paid for better.

  3. Mia Lopian says:

    Hi I am an 18 year old girl who was very sick and ill for a whole week!! But thanks so the staff at Salford royal hospital helped me to get better and I got discharged today !!! I have so much to thank the staff I am so greatful and appreciative and can’t stop thanking them. The staff were so lovely and kind and put my mind at ease when I was ill and they always had a smile on and happy to help !! Thanks so much NHS SALFORD ROYAL !!!

  4. Laura Turner says:

    I would like to thank all the staff at Sheffield Children’s Hospital last night and the paramedics that helped our little boy when he had his first ferbral convulsion it panicked myself and my husband and would like to say that the team worked very efficiently to help him get through the worst of it
    Kind regards
    Laura Turner & Carl Turner

  5. Katie Williams says:

    I can not express my gratitude and thanks to all the NHS staff at the university hospital stoke on trent for providing excellent service after my operation. This is the third time I have had an operation under there care. They are extremely stretch as a service yet provide excellent care. I owe my life to them.

  6. Victoria Harris says:

    I would just like to express my most sincere thanks to all workers in the NHS for providing care to our loved ones and bringing peace of mind to their families. Long may the NHS continue Britain’s proudest achievement and the true mark of what a modern society can achieve. Many,many thanks.

  7. Chris says:

    GREAT STAFF – Edgware community hospital.
    A few hours ago I provided blood samples and wanted to say thank you to the gentleman supporting me.
    I was quite nervous so can’t recall his name or position within the department. He made me feel very comfortable with friendly chit chat despite my quiet nature. I barely felt a thing as he changed vials and it was over in a flash.
    I felt a bit light headed afterwards and he was hovering around reception on a small break, but I thought he may have been ensuring I was ok.
    If that was the case then it was very kind.

    Furthermore my mother visits for regular blood works and also agrees this department is very good.
    In professionalism, efficiency and customer manner.
    A do hear regularly from other patients “Wow I barely felt a thing.”
    Today I found out how true this is.

    I don’t think there’s enough credit the the amazing work NHS provides, too much focus and media on other aspects which is unfortunate.

    Again. Thank you

  8. Alan Huitson says:

    Thank you staff of north tees,Stockton on Tees for today. My daughter suffered burns to right hand and She was seen immediately at around 1430 hrs.
    Thank You All Staff in the urgent care department.
    We really appreciate the treatment and urgency which was tendered.Many Thanks. You are the best!!

  9. Michael Bull says:

    I would like to thank one of your staff who found my wallet outside iceland in Morden surrey and returned it to my home. What a wonderful person. I wasn’t thinking straight when I got home and saw her outside my house and didn’t write her name down or anything. If anyone knows who she is please thank her from the bottom of my heart. What a wonderful person! Thanks again

  10. Denis Robinson says:

    Re: Brain Tumour,
    3 weeks after spotting my major brain tumour the NHS team under Mr Grundy did a fantastic operation at the Wessex Neuro Center at Southampton hospital.
    The person I really wish to single out for gratitude was Mr Hugo Gomes Clinical Nurse Specialist in stroke. Mr Gomes spotted possible brain malfunction on arrival at A&E Winchester hospital on 30 August 2018 . His and Dr Ella Tone actions led to a brain scan. Winchester rapidly transferred my treatment to Southampton.
    Mr Hugo Gomes thank you.
    Denis Robinson (Max)

  11. Inge Del Nevo says:

    A huge thank you to the staff in the audiology department of Chichester. She was extremely caring, listen to all my problems which some of them she could solve. She took time & gave me a lot of confidence. Truly professional. Thank you for today’s appointment, advice & help.

  12. Marie Mathias says:

    Thank you NHS Horsham,you are ALL heroes.

  13. Tegan Speller says:

    I would firstly like to that Dr Supermarne and all the neo natal team from Watford General for saving my life 29 years ago and the midwife Kate and all the team at Milton Keynes University hospital for saving my daughters. All you guys are amazing!

  14. Sue Colden says:

    I would like to thank very much Miss Carney of Northumberland NHS Trust,and all the staff involved in the outstanding care received by my husband during his recent hospital reviews investigations and surgery following a diagnosis of bowel cancer. All of the staff have been very professional caring and helpful during stressful times for the NHS. They have been a superb example of our NHS at its best.Thank you to an excellent team.

  15. Mrs C. Charnock says:

    Dear Sir, I would just to make a comment after reading in the Mail about “1 in 4 visits to A & E are not necessary”… My husband who has terminal cancer but is undergoing chemo treatment so that he can have a better quality of life was admitted to Southport and Ormskirk district hospital in January of this year. I would just like to tell you of the high quality of care he received. We only waited 5 minutes before he was seen by the nursing staff and 10 minutes before he saw a doctor. I think you can be proud of your A & E staff here in Southport as they have always looked after my husband with the greatest of care and dignity.

  16. Dr Umesh Prabhu says:

    First of all I want to thank Prof Willett for this wonderful message and all the good work he has done over the years.

    But why did this crisis allowed to happen in the first place? Good leadership is all about preventing the crisis. Why no one in leadership position saw this crisis over many years.

    We must make sure we learn lessons and we understand the reasons for this crisis so that it must never happen again.

    We as leaders owe it to our public, our NHS and our profession and our staff to make sure never again there is such a crisis.

    Now that crisis is here, we must find urgent solutions and I know the solution and can help anyone who cares for NHS. I know all of you do.

    Leaders must listen to everyone including BME staff and BME leaders. In Wigan reduced harm to patients by 90% just in 8 years. Wigan transformation is a very good lesson for NHS England and anyone to learn lessons.

    I am happy to help anyone