Covid-Safe Christmas

We want you to have fun at work this Christmas – and we want you to make it as enjoyable as possible for your patients too.
However, there is no getting away from the fact that things will have to be a little bit different in 2020. This is not a normal year – and so we must think about how we can celebrate safely.
We’ve tried to focus on the things that we can do, rather than those that we can’t, but there is also a list of the activities that unfortunately cannot take place. Please keep this in mind when planning celebrations in your wards and departments.

  • Tree of hope: One Christmas tree only, per ward or department this year please. It must be a flame-retardant artificial tree and should be placed in a communal area, not in a direct clinical area. If there is enough room, then corridors or reception areas are a great idea.
  • Decorations and bling: Keep other decorations to one small area of the corridor, day room or waiting area so that cleaning can be maintained. Produce a “Christmas Corner” cleaning schedule to keep the area covid-safe. 2020 is the year of the wipeable, washable, cleanable Christmas decoration, if you can’t clean it don’t use it so sadly this year tinsel doesn’t make the grade! Stay clear of large scale decorations, such as nativity scenes or grottos, these are dust and potential infection gatherers. Staff rooms and rest rooms should be a decorative free zone this year.
  • Lights: Reception areas, desks and other spaces in the clinical area should be kept as free from clutter as possible. A small string of battery operated lights could be displayed at high level to brighten up the space. Lights must be PAT-tested by our Estates Department.
  • Touch points: we’ve had some fantastic window displays in recent years, but sadly snow spray is on Santa’s naughty list in 2020. We must be able to clean windows easily. For the same reason, handrails, door handles and other key touch-points must be kept free of decorations.
  • Posters: Put posters or decorations behind glass if you have a lockable noticeboard on your ward. Posters can also be laminated and wiped regularly with sanitising wipes.
  • In the event of a covid-19, norovirus or other outbreak, you must be prepared to remove and throw away any decorations that you use.
Clothing and Fancy Dress
Lots of staff like to dress up for the festive season to support patient morale and put smiles on colleagues’ faces. This year, fancy dress isn’t going to be possible but there are some alternatives you could consider:
  • Wear Christmas socks.
  • Decorate your hair with bows and fancy hair ties (making sure all parts are secured so no parts can come loose).
  • Remember to stay ‘bare below the elbows’ and take off rings and false nails to maintain high hand hygiene standards.
Things we can’t do this year
Please do not:
  • Hold face-to-face Christmas gatherings or parties in our hospital or outside of work. 
  • Gather in groups at our coffee shop, Denbigh’s  or seating areas.
  • Share food that is not individually packaged.
  • Accept gifts from members of the public or allow people to enter clinical areas to deliver gifts unless arranged.
  • Put up decorations in clinical areas, particularly on wards and in areas where procedures are performed.
  • Display Christmas cards unless displayed behind glass/perspex.
  • Use decorations that are more than five years old as these cannot be sanitised properly. Instead purchase new decorations that can ideally be washed in a dishwasher or at the very least sanitised with wipes.
  • Wear fancy dress, hats or hair pieces with dangling parts.

Festive afternoon tea boxes

The Catering Team are this year serving up a festive treat – in the form of Festive Afternoon Tea Boxes for staff.
Being served daily from next Monday 7 December until Friday 18 December, the boxes will include a selection of sandwiches, savoury bites, as well as the choice of a sweet treat.
Sandwiches will include ham and turkey freshly cooked by our team of Catering elves! Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available, if you have any other specific dietary requirement please contact the  Main Kitchen. 
Staff will be given a voucher each, which entitles them to one box during this period. Vouchers will be delivered to areas by the Catering Team.
On receipt of the voucher, staff will decide what day they want theirs and will be able to collect their box from Denbigh’s or the League of Friends cafĂ© – between 12noon and 4pm. To ensure social distancing is in place, colleagues are asked to stagger out collection of their boxes in their teams.
If your team regularly works out of these hours, please contact and we can arrange a suitable ‘drop off’, so you don’t miss out.

Christmas Day

Staff who are working Christmas Day will be provided with a free breakfast and Christmas Dinner.
Dan Hoggett, Catering Manager, will be visiting wards in the coming weeks to arrange breakfast and dinner arrangements for Christmas Day.
Thank you for giving up your time during the festive season.

Virtual Carol Service

Teams and individuals from across the hospital are being asked to get involved in this year’s Virtual Carol Service.

Our Carol Service is going to have to be a virtual celebration this year but let’s take this opportunity to have some fun and see what we can put together.

We would like to have people and teams involved from different areas of the hospital. All contributions should be recorded on video by the individuals/teams taking part, and will be released in the run up to Christmas. Obviously we would like some traditional Christmas carols and readings, but we’d encourage wider contributions too; it doesn’t have to be particularly religious, anything with a Christmas theme is welcome.

We’d like some singing or music, reading, poetry, dance, or whatever you think would be appropriate. You may want to put something together with colleagues, in a family group, or alone. Have a think about what you might like to do.

We would like to show a number of individual snippets on social media and then create a full version, all edited together. So when you send us any footage, please state if you do not want it to appear on social media.

We are accepting your video contributions from now until Wednesday 9 December. Please send them to Chaplain, Simon Airey via Whatsapp: 07740 799191 or via Dropbox to Victoria Sugden:

Remember to please keep your videos as short as possible, ideally aiming for around the 2 minute mark