RJAH staff going the extra mile to ensure patients have a special Christmas

Release Date: 20/12/2019

RJAH staff going the extra mile to ensure patients have a special Christmas

Spending Christmas Day in hospital might not be anyone’s first choice of place to enjoy the festivities but staff at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) are pulling out all the stops to ensure patients have the most special time possible.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas Day, staff at the Oswestry-based hospital 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 RJAH this Christmas.

Just some of the events have included a visit from Father Christmas – who also happens to be Mr Andrew Roberts, the Trust’s Clinical Chair of our Support Services Unit and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon – and a children’s party on Alice Ward, as well as a visit from players and staff from Oswestry’s The New Saints.

Staff on the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI) also performed in their annual Christmas pantomime for patients and hospital colleagues. This year’s offering was ‘Jack and the Horatio Beanstalk’.

While, there has also been a whole host of Christmas crafts and activities throughout December on Sheldon Ward – the hospital’s care of the elderly ward. Staff also held a Christmas party for patients on the ward.

On Christmas Day, the priority for staff is ensuring that the hospital is like a home from home for patients and any relatives who visit.

Four wards will remain open on the day itself, including Powys Ward – one of the hospital’s surgical wards; Sheldon Ward; and Wrekin and Gladstone Wards, which make up the MCSI.

The wards are being staffed throughout the day by a total of 77 Nurses and Healthcare Assistants. Also on duty will be two Physiotherapists and two Therapy Support Workers.

Non-clinical staff are also vital to the operation of the hospital, and throughout the day there will be nine members of the Catering team on duty, as well as five housekeepers, three Switchboard Operatives, two Boilermen and a Porter.

Heather Owen, Interim Ward Manager on Powys Ward, said: “This year Powys Ward is the surgical ward that will remain open over the Christmas period, and we’re looking forward to it.

“We know that spending Christmas in hospital isn’t ideal but we will do our best to ensure the day is as special as it can be for patients. There will be a lovely Christmas lunch served by the hospital’s fantastic Catering team, as well as presents.

“It will also be good to see colleagues from other areas of the hospital pulling together to help us staff the ward over the festive period. It will be teamwork at its finest.”

Rebecca Warren, Ward Manager on MCSI, who will be working on Christmas Day, says she’s looking forward to the day.

She said: “On MCSI we do everything we can to give our patients the best Christmas possible. The atmosphere is always a brilliant one on Christmas Day, with our patients’ families coming in to visit and eat lunch with them.

“However, there are also a number of patients who won’t have family in on the day to visit them, so we will be pulling out all the stops and setting up a dedicated area for them to eat lunch together and enjoy each other’s company.

Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive, said: “A big thank you to our staff who have been working hard in the run-up to Christmas to give our patients the best possible experience.

“I am particularly grateful to staff who will spend Christmas Day working, and I look forward to visiting them on Christmas morning to say thank you in person.

“Nobody wants to spend Christmas in hospital but, thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of our staff, I know our patients will have a lovely time here at RJAH.”

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