Spending Christmas Day on a hospital ward might not be the ideal place to enjoy the season’s festivities but staff at The Orthopaedic Hospital are pulling out all the stops to ensure patients have the most special time possible.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas Day, wards and departments have been putting on a host of events and activities to make life that little bit brighter for patients who have had to spend time at the hospital this Christmas.
Just some of the events have included a children’s party on Alice Ward, cast members from the Stiwt Theatre’s pantomime Snow White visiting the children on the ward, as well as players and staff from Oswestry’s The New Saints.
The Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI) held a Christmas party – complete with staff performing a synchronised swimming scene in the dining room for patients, while the Therapy Team held a festive fitness class – in the fancy dress – for spinal injury patients.
However for Christmas Day itself, the focus for staff is ensuring that the hospital is like a home from home for patients.
This year there will be about 15 inpatients on Sheldon Ward, the hospital’s dedicated Care of the Elderly Ward, on Christmas Day.
And staff on that ward will be working hard to give their patients a Christmas to remember.
Lorna Edwards, ward manager, said: “We encourage our patients’ family members to come in and have their Christmas dinner here to make it as normal as possible for the patients.
“Every year we lay out some tables in the ward – complete with crackers – and all the patients who are able to get out of their beds will be able to come together to eat their Christmas lunch. We do it every year, and it is always a lovely atmosphere.
“No-one wants to be in hospital at Christmas, but there’s always a real family atmosphere on Sheldon Ward, and that’s thanks to our patients.”
Rebecca Warren, ward manager for MCSI, who will be working on Christmas Day, says she’s looking forward to the day.
She said: “I know that hospital isn’t anyone’s chosen place to wake up on Christmas morning but on MCSI the atmosphere is always a brilliant one on Christmas Day, with our patients’ families coming in to visit and eat lunch with them.
“It’s always lovely to have our patients’ younger relatives in too because their excitement on Christmas Day is infectious and puts a smile on not just patients’ faces but also staff too.”
Mark Brandreth, chief executive, said: “I am incredibly proud of all our staff working hard this Christmas to give their patients the best possible experience at this time of year.
“I am especially grateful to staff who will spend Christmas Day working, and I look forward to visiting staff on Christmas morning to say thank you in person.
“Nobody wants to spend Christmas in hospital but, thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of staff, I know our patients will have a special time here at RJAH.”