Christmas Cheer across Cumbria’s NHS
There has been a number of acts of kindness by members of staff and the public in the run up to Christmas.
We thought we would share these incredibly heart-warming stories with you and also let you know what it is like to work on Christmas day in the NHS.
Childrens Ward at CIC:
After asking people to give donations instead of Christmas card a member of staff from the Special Care Baby Unit presented a cheque to the ward. Many thanks to all who donated.
Ben Frampton: Children’s ward manager, West Cumberland Hospital
“I have worked several Christmas days on the Children’s ward; I really enjoy it mainly because there is such a nice atmosphere. We try and make it as special as we can for the children and their families.
“The local community are incredibly generous and always send gifts for the children on the ward, on Christmas Eve we help Santa with his deliveries and he leaves sacks and at the bottom of each of the beds as Santa remembers all children; even those in hospital.
“People volunteer to come in dressed as superheroes for the children as well, they really are extremely kind.
“There’s Christmas music playing and Christmas films on the television. We have a largely open door policy on Christmas day as many family members want to can come in and see the children. All the children and families who are able to have a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings including crackers, and even though normally parents and family members can have tea or coffee whenever they like, we try and make it more hotel like on Christmas day and have a tea trolley instead, a bit more of a personal service.
“We always make sure that we have spare presents as well in case we have a new admission on Christmas day too.
“For the staff it is largely business as usual except we have a lovely buffet to pick at all day – everyone brings something in and we all take our turns so that everyone has some time to spend with their own families across Christmas and New year.”
Childrens Ward, West Cumberland Hospital
Hensingham ARLFC visited the Children and Young People’s Ward to help staff celebrate their Christmas party and they paid for the entertainment on the day. The entertainment was provided by Dave Storey from BJ entertainment and was brilliant.
Willow A, Cumberland Infirmary.
A couple who arrived on the ward just before Christmas were in need of some clothes and the staff rallied around to get a bag of clothes for each of them. A member of staff also contacted the British Legion and secured £200.00 to help the couple. The Christmas Spirit was very evident on Willow A.
Amanda Humphrey: District Nurse in Copeland.
“The run up to Christmas is really busy making sure we have all of the drugs and dressings we need over the break.
“We find out what plans our patients have for Christmas day – some go and spend it with families but others might be on their own so we make a fuss of them. The day tends to be a bit quieter than usual but there’s always patients to see.
“The team who are working on Christmas day have chosen to do so – it’s a good atmosphere, we’ll get our Santa hats on and it’s usually nice and festive in people’s homes!”
Day surgery Cumberland Infirmary:
- A member of staff from the Heart Centre recently came off night duty and went home to take his own children to school. He then went shopping and bought 14 Selection Boxes out of his own money for the children in Day Surgery. The unit were overwhelmed by his generosity, especially as he is not a member of their department and they have sincerely thanked him for his kindness.
- Additionally, a recovery nurse from Day Surgery donated medals and bubbles out of her own money for the children undergoing surgery on that day.
Emily Dixon: A&E Sister in Cumberland Infirmary
“I have worked a few Christmas days over the years and really Christmas day in A&E is the same as any other day from a professional point of view! The main difference is that we try and make it as festive as we can for the staff.
“Everyone brings some food in and this year one of the consultant’s husband is bringing in breakfast for all the staff which is really lovely.
“I will be bringing in a little gift for all the staff and there will be plenty of nibbles and sweets to keep us going throughout the day.
“Working over the Christmas holidays is part and parcel of being a nurse but we do always get some time off to spend time with our families, generally if you work Christmas Day you have New Year off and the other way around. We all try and make sure everyone gets time to spend with their family over the holiday season. A&E services remain the same throughout the holiday season. We do generally try to see patients as quickly as possible whilst still providing a quality service. It’s really important to us that we try to get patients home to be with their families.”
Carols on Christmas Eve.
The staff on Maple D and B at the Cumberland Infirmary are bringing Christmas cheer to the atrium by singing carols on Christmas Eve and everyone is invited to pop along and join in, children and adults alike.
Community staff help a partially sighted person
A member of the COPD team – who help patients who have difficulty breathing because of lung conditions – had been supporting an 84 year old lady in her own home with strengthening exercises. The lady is partially sighted and the team member had ordered a white walking stick to help her with her confidence walking.
The patient explained that she would be visiting her daughters in Derbyshire at Christmas time and that the stick would give her more confidence getting on and off trains. The staff member realised that the stick would not get here in time for Christmas so she went online and bought one for her. It arrived in plenty of time and the staff member delivered it personally to the lady.
Many staff go above and beyond the call of duty throughout the year and we thank them for all their efforts at all times.
Every day the whole NHS works together to save lives, give hope and help to those who need it most and make a difference to many people.
The Cumbrian sprit shines every day but it does seem a little brighter at this time of year.
Season’s Greetings and best wishes to one and all.