NHS staff in all their many roles have been a key part of our survival in 2020. Whatever profession and what ever tasks have been needed we have seen the benefits of their work. Cancer diagnosis, treatments and care may have been reduced but new ways of working have also emerged and can provide helpful ways approach the challenges that 2021 will bring.

Professor Susan Moug, colorectal surgeon from Paisley shares some of her looking forward thoughts:

It’s been difficult hasn’t it? Everyone has been affected by the pandemic and has their own unique experience. Working in a hospital means I have seen some seriously quick shifts in structure, staffing and patient management. For this to function there has to be adaptation: staff and patients have been pulled out of their normal roles and the expectations that come with that. But with adaptation, comes opportunity. We are now all experienced with virtual clinics where with no distraction, the patients speak to you from their own home. The occasional cat or other small friends getting involved only provides more of a personal feel to the appointment. Exercising our patients before surgery used to happen in one of our lecture theatres, but is now online. I have had the pleasure of joining and the enthusiasm from all the participants is infectious and lovely to watch. As we move into 2021, I hope these changes are still available to allow our patients to choose an approach that suits and considers them. Patient centred care – that’s my aim for 2021.