A CHIEF Cumbrian nurse has spoken directly to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to tell him how well staff have coped with the pandemic.

Gary O’Hare, chief nurse at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, spent time this week with Mr Hancock to talk about issues such as resilience, supporting staff and the use of technology in the NHS.

The trust is a provider of mental health and disability services in the area.

In the conversation, both Mr O’Hare and the Secretary of State paid tribute to health and social care staff within the region for all their efforts throughout the pandemic.

“The resilience of health and social care staff who’ve been working over the last 12 months has been astounding," said Mr O'Hare. "I have been in awe. Our staff have continued to turn up and do an absolutely fantastic job day after day.”

The pair also talked about the importance of accessing help for those staff members who needed it.

Mr Hancock was very clear that all staff should be provided with the best support possible to ensure they could remain resilient as well as feeling able to and confident enough to ask for help when they needed it.

The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System has set up a wellbeing hub to ensure it is able to support staff. The hub has meant that employees of the Trust have been able to access tools to help them stay mentally well during the pandemic.

The hub includes many options to support health and care staff within the trust when seeking support, including a helpline which provides space to talk as well as information, advice and guidance.

A video discussing resilience will be available to view from May 7 on the Department of Health and Social Care’s Linked In page and on the Trust's newly launched Healthcare Leaders Blog, where the chief nurse and Secretary of State will have a discussion about vaccine uptake in the area and the growing use of technology.

Members of staff can find out more on the ICS website.