How life has changed

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Finding a new normal since COVID19 - Thoughts of an NHS Manager

I’m sitting in my dressing gown at 06:00 in the morning, with kids TV in the background and coffee in hand (1st of many today), pondering how I’m going to start this blog (my first ever blog).

Hi my name is Sarah Warren and I am a Programme Manager in SCW (nope too formal – and what does that mean anyway?)

Hi my name is Sarah Warren and I am so proud to be a British Citizen, a member of the NHS, a mother, a wife and to have skills and experiences I can use to help those in need to stay safe and well. Oh and like many others I’m currently home isolated due to children who had coughs and temperatures 10 days ago.

I can honestly say I have gone through every emotion in the book over the last 2 and half weeks since COVID 19 took over my life and actually what I’ve learnt in that time is how many positives have come out of this very difficult situation.

Positive #1 – I am part of a very amazing and special family – the NHS. When you see the hashtag #InItTogether, that can sound trite but quite honestly, I have not come across one person who hasn’t personally gone out of their way to help where they can. This is might be through doing different or longer hours at very short notice, applying their skills and experience to problem solve a new issue that has arisen (even when its something they would never normally deal with) or just being the person who cares enough about the team around them to listen when the enormity of the situation hits one of us and we need, to rightly, embrace some difficult emotions for a moment.

Positive #2 – I’m learning so much about my own skills and capabilities and those of family, friends and colleagues. There is so much potential in all of us to find our own way to contributing to help create a new normal – life after COVID19.  Whilst many of us are focused on the here and now and the crisis that is arising and changing on a daily basis; there are also emerging new ways of working, new approaches and new relationships and networks that will last way beyond this moment and will positively shape our world for a long time to come.

Positive #3 – We’re all a bit more human. Having worked in the corporate world for a long time now, I have always struggled with finding the right balance between being authentic, recognising the many parts that make me who I am and still being “professional” with my customers, colleagues and stakeholders. Being forced to work in such a different way due to isolation, for the first time in a very long time, it feels like its OK to be a bit less polished, to have children join parents on conference calls for a hug or just out of sheer curiosity and to start calls with colleagues where we genuinely want to know how each other are, what’s going on in their lives and what we can do to help each other.

So what I want to say to all those I know and don’t know in the NHS and across the nation as a whole is…


Keep being kind to each other, please listen to the advice you are being given to stay safe and embrace this situation as a chance to learn and grow as people and society at large.

My hope for the future is COVID could be one of the most positive experiences of our generation, if we continue to come together and work for each other.




Programme Manager

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