UNIVERSITY Hospitals Dorset spent the week burying time capsules to honour the staff and patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

The capsules were created as part of special services across Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole hospitals, held in the weeks following the anniversary of the global pandemic being declared and leading up to the anniversary of the first full UK lockdown.

Students from Park School in Bournemouth, St Peters in Southbourne, and St Josephs in Poole performed songs at each of the services.

Bournemouth Echo:

Dame Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England also attended the events along with BCP chair Lesley Dedman.

Inside the capsules were significant items from the pandemic, including Covid vaccines, lateral flow tests, and glass rainbows made by one of the hospital’s consultants.

The capsules will be dug up and reopened on the 100th anniversary of the NHS on July 5, 2048.

Dame Ruth said: “It’s important that we continue to reflect on the lasting impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had. I will remain forever proud of our nursing and midwifery workforce, and all our colleagues across the NHS, for the extraordinary contribution they made during this time.”

Siobhan Harrington, chief executive of University Hospitals Dorset, added: “Covid was a challenge, a test of our skills, our courage, and our ability to provide care under the most extraordinary circumstances.

“It was a challenge we rose to despite every obstacle thrown in our path, and despite the very personal toll it was taking on everybody in our UHD family.

“I hope these capsules and memorial stones give us all a time and space to pause, reflect, and mark this moment in history.”

Sue Doheny, NHS England South West chief nursing officer, said: “It was a privilege to be invited to attend the Covid time capsule event.

“It is four years since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic and these services marked a poignant moment in history.

“They also provided time to reflect on how the Covid pandemic changed working for the NHS family, and the personal sadness, loss, and impact it had on their own lives, those of their families, their loved ones, and their community.”