Lorraine’s a Christmas star on hospital switchboard

Release Date: 20/12/2019

Lorraine’s a Christmas star on hospital switchboard

As Christmas Day dawns, people across the country will be up early to open presents together.

But Lorraine Thomas will be rising early for another reason entirely – to start another shift on the Switchboard at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.

While most of us are unwrapping our gifts or later tucking into a big Christmas dinner, she will be manning the main hospital phoneline, handling enquiries from patient relatives and friends, and other healthcare professionals, as well as handling any emergency calls.

Lorraine has worked many Christmas shifts over the years, and her dedication has seen her named as the Trust’s Health Hero Award winner for December 2019.

She received her award from Chief Executive Mark Brandreth – and immediately dedicated it to the memory of former colleague Linda Harris, who died two years ago today.

“I am over the moon to be the latest winner of the Health Hero Award, but I accept the award on behalf of the whole Switchboard team,” said Lorraine.

“We all work so hard throughout the year – I couldn’t wish for better colleagues and they are more like family to me.

“This award is also timely as its two years to the day since our beloved colleague, Linda Harris, passed away so it’s only right we honour her memory with this award.”

Lorraine received a certificate and a gift box of fruit and veg from Box of Goodness, as well as a special Health Hero pin badge that is only presented to the winner of this award.

She was nominated for the honour by Sian Langford, Deputy Facilities Manager at the Oswestry-based hospital.

Sian said: “Lorraine is just one member of the Facilities team who will spend her Christmas Day working.

“As Switchboard is only staffed by one person at a time, Lorraine will spend Christmas morning by herself and will be answering internal and external calls and bleeps, reacting to emergency alarms and calls, and distributing hospital keys.

“I know throughout Lorraine’s shift on Christmas Day, she will offer support, advice and festive greetings to everyone she speaks to, whether it’s patients, staff or visitors.”

Mark said: “Our Switchboard team are vitally important to the smooth running of the hospital – in fact we would struggle to function without them.

“We are grateful to Lorraine, and indeed all our staff who are giving up time with family and friends on Christmas Day to care for our patients.

“I will be popping into the hospital on Christmas morning to talk to our staff and patients, and I look forward to calling in on Lorraine to deliver a well-earned bacon and sausage bap – something we’ll be doing for all our staff on duty.”

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