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Patients’ Choice winner switches on Christmas tree lights

02 December 2016


When Clinical Development Nurse, Claire Buckell, was voted as this year’s Patients’ Choice winner earlier this year at Hospital Heroes she didn’t thing that nearly three months later she’d be pressing the button that switched on the Christmas tree lights at Southend Hospital.

That's exactly what she did opposite the main A&E entrance and surrounded by a crowd of staff, governors, the sweet smell of non-alcoholic Christmas punch and the tuneful sounds of children of Saint Pierre School choir from Leigh-on-Sea, who had performed earlier in the day in Outpatients.

The switch on heralded the official start of Christmas activities across the hospital which will see visits including Southend United Football Club to Neptune Children's Ward and PAT Dogs delivering joy to wards. And wards and non-clinical areas will also be adding up decorations and trees.

Of her role Claire, who celebrates 20 years at the Trust this year, said: "It's been a real privilege to turn the Christmas tree lights on this year, there are various events through the hospital that bring patients joy at a time when it is particularly hard being in hospital. I'm pleased to have played my own small part in it, especially on the 20th anniversary of me starting work here."

Saying a few words prior to the lighting of the tree, which was supplied thanks to Tusker Direct, the Trust's car benefits scheme provider, was Chief Nurse, Yvonne Blücher.  She said: "I'd like to thank all the volunteers and staff who are here in attendance. I'd also like to thank the children of Saint Pierre School choir for providing the musical accompaniment.  I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."