Winter can be a demanding time of year for hospital workers, especially at Christmas, when over-indulgence in food and alcohol can cause increased strain on services. At Aintree University Accident & Emergency, the work doesn’t stop and, in fact, can be even busier than usual.
“It is really quite busy over Christmastime,” says Dr Libby Wilson, “it’s certainly not a day to turn up not expecting a wait.”
Whilst it may be hectic at A&E during the festive season, but thanks to volunteers like Jed Barker, the hospital manages to keep patients spirits high; “It’s very satisfying, I enjoy working with the patients.”
Dr. Wilson and Jed are just two of a huge dedicated team of staff who will work on Christmas day and Boxing Day across the the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust site.
It would do us all well to remember that while most of us are still busy tearing into a pile of presents, there are people clocking into work as usual, often in trying circumstances.
Among them are the teams at Aintree Hospital who tirelessly continue to care for the sick and keep us all well throughout the festive period.
In our mini podcast series, Christmas Unwrapped, we’re meeting those who make Christmas shine and sparkle in the city, people like Liverpool ONE’s Donna Howitt who talks about Christmas at one of the UK’s largest shopping complexes, and Sue at the Big Help Project, who shares what it’s like at a Food Bank. Or what about Michelle O’ Dwyer who gives up her Christmas every year to cook Christmas Dinner for those who need it!
We’re also shining a light on the superstars who make sure that Aintree Hospital A&E runs like clockwork, and reminding ourselves that they’re a gift to the city – at Christmas and every other day of the year…
* If you are eligible for a flu jab – get it done. It will keep you out of hospital over Christmas and it might even save your life!
* If you’ve got a cough or cold, go to NHS 111. Think about taking things like paracetamol, staying well hydrated, staying warm and avoiding alcohol.
* We all over-indulge at Christmas but try to take it easy. When it comes to alcohol try to pace yourself, stay hydrated, don’t drink ‘ridiculous amounts’ and don’t drink on an empty stomach.
If you have elderly neighbours or members of the family, check they’re okay, give them a call, pop in or catch up on social media. Ask if they have enough food, that they’re warm and, if you are concerned, call the council-run Careline (0151 233 3800) who may be able to help them.
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