Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is reminding everyone that they are still open for anyone who needs help over the festive period, and asking for people to do their bit to support their local hospitals going into the New Year.

Over the last year, the NHS has faced a challenge like no other and staff across Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester have risen to meet it.

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “I want to thank everyone for their unwavering support in a year that has tested us all personally and professionally. We have been overwhelmed by the way our communities have got behind us – whether through generous donations, clapping and cheering for key workers, or simply doing what you can to stay safe – it’s made a difference to us all.

“In a year where we have had to physically stay apart, sticking together and working towards a common goal of keeping each other safe has had a big impact on our ability to care for everyone who needs us, and has lifted spirits when things get tough.

“Please remember we are still open for everyone who needs us and our remarkable teams are here to care for you. It’s really important you continue to attend any appointments you may have booked at our hospitals. For some, we have continued to offer virtual appointments but if you need to come onto site for your appointment please do so. If for any reason your appointment is cancelled, you will be contacted directly.”

The trust also asked for the community to support its efforts and to take sensible steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Our staff are working tirelessly to provide the best possible care to all of our patients both with and without Coronavirus,” continued Dr Alloway.

“Please help us to continue to do this by using the right service, and doing all you can to stay safe.

“Follow the guidelines we have all become so familiar with this year; regularly wash your hands, wear a mask, and maintain a safe distance from others. Please do continue to follow the guidance in your local area to reduce the risk of transmission – we all have a part to play in reducing the spread.”

“Our hospitals are busy, and as we look ahead to the New Year we are likely to see an increase in the usual challenges we face in the winter period, so please help us to keep everyone safe.

“Finally, I want to thank our incredible staff for all they have done to provide safe and compassionate care to our patients with and without COVID-19. Each and every member of team HHFT has gone above and beyond and I am exceptionally proud of all we have achieved this year. I know as we head into 2021, we will continue to put all we have learnt into practice, and work as a team to tackle any challenge that comes our way.”