Hardworking NHS staff have cared for hundreds of thousands of patients in Surrey and South West London over the past 12 months – and they won’t be letting up over Christmas.
As many families settle down to open their presents, doctors, nurses, porters, cleaners and many other crucial employees at St George’s, Epsom and St Helier hospitals will be working hard to care for patients.
It follows a very busy year for teams, who have delivered more than 7,600 babies, served more than half a million patient meals, and performed an x-ray every 89 seconds.
They’ve also saved many lives – including those of trauma patients and people with cancer – and carried out 200 kidney transplants.
Jacqueline Totterdell, Group Chief Executive at St George’s, Epsom and St Helier hospitals group, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of our exceptional staff who have worked so hard this year. Their dedication to caring for our patients and putting them first is truly exemplary, and I am continuously inspired by all they do.”
It’s been a challenging year for staff, and demand has ramped up. This year, more than 300,000 people have come into the hospitals’ emergency departments (EDs) – the equivalent of more than 800 every day.
As winter approaches – typically one of the most challenging times of year for the NHS – the public are reminded to use services wisely and appropriately, as well as check in on vulnerable friends, family and neighbours.
Dr Richard Jennings, Group Chief Medical Officer at St George’s, Epsom and St Helier hospitals group, said: “We are always here for those who need care. If you have an urgent healthcare need but it isn’t an emergency, you should use NHS 111 as your first port of call, as this can advise you where to go and what to do next. Pharmacies can also give you advice on minor illnesses and conditions and if you take any medication, please ensure you have enough to last over the bank holiday period.”
He added: “We’re also urging everyone to take steps to stay safe and well over the Christmas period. Please book your flu and Covid vaccines to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the NHS this winter.”
Last December, 146 people came to ED with an alcohol-related illness or injury. Those who are drinking are encouraged to be sensible and to stay hydrated to avoid ending up in the same place.
Jacqueline added: “Our incredible staff are under unprecedented pressure, and that is not letting up. Please take these small steps to help them – and also join me in taking a moment to recognise the amazing work they do, day in and day out.”