King’s College Hospital’s chief executive has paid tribute to the heroic staff working throughout Christmas and New Year as the nation braces for the worst phase of the pandemic.
Professor Clive Kay said: “From providing patients with 24-hour care, to ensuring our hospitals are clean and safe, hundreds of our fantastic colleagues come together to keep King’s running during the festive season.
“Our staff provide an excellent service to those who are in greatest need every day of the year, and everyone works extremely hard to try and make Christmas a happy time for patients and their families.
“Many staff forego time with their own families to work over Christmas and look after our patients, and their hard work and commitment makes a huge difference.”
One of those who will be on the front line of care on Christmas Day is dementia ward manager Mable Maphosa, from Camberwell.
“I work on a dementia specialist ward. I’m responsible for the rota and scheduled myself to work this Christmas,” she said.
“If I’m not working on Christmas Day, it is always my tradition that I cook or bake for my staff.
“I come into work, lay the table for my staff and surprise them.
“I go round giving my patients presents and the smile on their faces just makes it more special.
“I also come and give gifts and cards thanking my staff for their support and hard work.
“Before the pandemic, my 10-year-old daughter would come and take the presents round – this always put a smile on their face – and she sang for them.
“This day is special from other days, as most staff that work on this day have left their loved ones to spend Christmas with their patients.
“They make this day special for patients; playing Christmas carols and ensuring our patients don’t miss out on this special day.
“Our patients get loads of treats, presents, pampering, Christmas music, the atmosphere is just great on my ward and we try and make it fun for the patients.
“We have a piano on the ward, so if there is someone who can play there will be some tunes being played along.
“In spite of COVID-19 we are still going to have fun this Christmas! I’m happy to share the festive season with my staff and patients this year.”