The Southend Hospital hosts of Christmas present
22 December 2014
Christmas, it's a time that many of us have off and get to spend at least two days, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with our families and friends.
For others it's still very much a day at work, a day that's
about putting others before them and their family. Here are three
stories from three different people who work at Southend Hospital
about how they will experience Christmas 2014.
Father Graham Crook, Church of England Chaplain at
"Christmas Day begins with the Eucharist in the hospital chapel
at 8am, after which I take Holy Communion to those patients on the
wards who wish to receive the Sacrament.
It is a great privilege to provide pastoral and sacramental care
for the hospital over the Christmas period, and to be available to
patients, their relatives, visitors and of course members of
"Christmas can be a time of great stress for many people and a
very emotional time for those whose relatives are in in hospital,
and a great part of the ministry of the Chaplaincy is that of
listening and supporting."
Debbie Stock, practice development midwife and
supervisor of midwives
"It's nice working on Christmas Day, I might be away from my own
family but I'm helping to make new families on the maternity ward.
Every day is special here but Christmas Day even more so, just
because, for many, Christmas is a time for families. We are also
very much a family here on the central delivery suite.
"I'm off Boxing Day but will be back home Christmas Day evening
spending time with my family, it's almost like we get two Christmas
Dr Caroline Howard, consultant and clinical lead
emergency medicine, A&E
"Christmas Day I am planning a relaxing day at home with my
husband, plus turkey and all the trimmings. I will very likely
speak to my twin sister on the phone who will be abroad and to the
rest of my family in the UK.
"I will be on call from 8am Boxing Day and working in the
department from 10am so likely to plan an early night to prepare
for that as I remain on call until 8am on the 27th. Boxing Day
usually is very busy as sometimes people have delayed attending
from the day before. It is pretty much a normal working day but we
always try and see if there are any possible solutions to allow
people home or restrict them as little as possible, for example
"If you can come up with some solutions it's always better
getting people sorted and home for Christmas and, usually, people
are a lot more grateful for it. If people are very unwell or if we
have any deaths then I think people do feel a lot more upset than
usual even though we do have to deal with that on a daily basis.
Every day of the year we see people not having the day that they
planned but at Christmas it is harder.
"We ensure we have some 'goodies' to treat ourselves in the
staff room and usually these are kept well topped up by patients
bringing back chocolates and cards for thanks which is always
hugely appreciated by all of the staff."