Sprinkling a little Christmas magic

Turkey with all the trimmings, sparkling lights, and even a gin and tonic! That’s how Christmas Day’s looking in our Inpatient Unit this year! Here, Jackie Cunningham, Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit Manager, explains how our teams will be working around the clock this Christmas, doing everything possible to sprinkle a little magic around the hospice so that patients and families can have the best Christmas possible.

“Christmas is a very special time for everyone,” says Jackie. “It’s very much a time when families all get together to spend precious time together. Here at the hospice, we’re doing everything we can to make Christmas as special and as memorable as possible. For some patients, it may be their last Christmas, so it’s even more important to help make it the best it can be. We know it’s important to our families, and therefore it’s important to us.

“While there are still many challenges around COVID, we’re doing everything we can to create a magical, Christmassy atmosphere. We’re really excited to have four beautiful Christmas trees on the wards this year, and we’ve decorated the rooms with lovely festive arrangements such as mistletoe and holly.

“In previous years, we’ve had carol singers visit the hospice, and we’re really hoping that they’ll come again this year to sing outside. It’s just beautiful, and the sound of the carols is so calm and soothing.

“On Christmas Day, the staff will give the patients little fragrant gifts such as toiletries, soap and shower gel. Then late morning, we’ll offer patients an aperitif from the drinks trolley. There’s a fabulous selection to choose from including Tia Maria, whiskey, and gin and tonic. Then it’s our show-stopping Christmas lunch – a roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings, followed by a scrumptious Christmas pudding! A huge amount of work and effort goes into making the Christmas meal so delicious; our kitchen team and hospitality volunteers pull out all the stops, and it really is appreciated by everyone.

“It’s a great team effort here; we work really well together. There have been so many challenges and extra pressures over the last two years with COVID. In particular, there have been lots of new rules and regulations in terms of infection control, social distancing and the visitor policy etc. However, throughout it all, the team have been fantastic; we’ve really looked after each other through these tough times.

“I’ve been in nursing for many years, but here at Rowcroft we have the ability to offer exceptional, high quality care, and Rowcroft is well-respected for this in the community. I feel a great sense of pride and job satisfaction, knowing that our patients are receiving the very best level of specialist care. We’re proud to offer care with a holistic approach – one that addresses the needs of the whole person, meeting a patient’s emotional, physical and spiritual needs.”

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