STAFF at Inverclyde Royal have spoken of their optimism for the next 12 months as the hospital braces itself for another hectic year amid the continuing pandemic.

Dr Abigail Gunn, the lead consultant who has spearheaded the response to the coronavirus crisis, believes the hospital is ready to build on its significant success.

The senior medic - who was crowned one of the Tele's healthcare heroes last year - hopes that inroads will be made to boost the workforce with a recruitment drive and ensure it is ahead of the game with treatments for Covid.

Dr Gunn, who is a consultant in acute medicine and stroke, said: "Team IRH has shown significant success despite the Covid-19 pressures over the past year, including achieving Investors in People recognition, on site nurse training sessions for advanced skills and recruitment of advanced nurse practitioners.

"Investing resource, compassion and care into our team is the most valuable investment that we can make, and that will result in the best patient experience possible.

"My professional hope for 2022 is to work with all the teams at Inverclyde Royal Hospital to help each and every individual achieve their potential, and in turn provide the local area with the best care we can possibly provide.

"A clinical skills teaching symposium for the doctors, further recruitment drives and facilitating access to the newest Covid therapies are all in planning and have started to be delivered."

Away from the medical side at IRH, the ground estates team has played a key role in keeping the premises fit for purpose.

Site manger Andrew Ross Campbell says he is looking forward to a busy year.

He said: "My hope for 2022 is that we continue to provide support to our local and wider community through our services.

"For estates, that is achieved by ensuring all our healthcare premises are maintained to a safe, comfortable and fit for purpose condition at all times.

"For the estates team that alone is a measure of success.

"In 2021, our team achieved both Clyde acute services and estates and facilities team of the year through relentless commitment to ensuring the highest standards, so we want to build on that again in 2022."

Elsewhere the porters, catering and domestic staff are focused on keeping everything inside IRH turning as smoothly as possible.

Carine Miller, integrated services manager, said: "The facilities team at the IRH strive to provide the best patient care to all who come through our doors, from portering to catering and domestic.

"For the year ahead we want to build on the investment we have made in staff training and development.

"The success of the steps we have already taken shone through with the hospital’s recent achievement of Investors in People accreditation and we hope to continue to make even more improvements.

"Although the past two years have been hard with Covid, the camaraderie and team work has been exceptional throughout the hospital and long may this continue throughout 2022."