Visitors to the Irvine Unit at Bexhill Hospital found very nearly a full house on Christmas Morning writes League of Friends President John Dowling.
He said: “Harriet Chapman, the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital’s indefatigable social secretary, had as usual parcelled up a decorative carrier bag of useful presents for every patient in the 54-bed unit.
“Following time-honoured tradition, Harriet together with League chairman Cllr Stuart Earl, vice president Peter Mitchell-Davis and secretary Ann Dowling pressed a medicine trolley into service as delivery vehicle.
“Charge Nurse Rob Loake, resplendent with festive headgear atop his uniform, acted as “driver” as together with Town Mayor Cllr Maurice Watson and his wife and Mayoress Ann and unit chaplain the Rev Neville Barnett the visitors began their rounds.
“They found patient Bill Hall seated in the unit’s brightly decorated central atrium. Bill was among the first to be wished a Merry Christmas as the group toured every bedded bay and individual room to distribute the league’s gifts.
“Usually those Irvine Unit patients who are fit enough, are allowed home for Christmas. Sister Bernadette Drummond explained that because of this year’s winter influx of patients an extra bay had been opened and the Irvine Unit was nearly full.
“Tables in the Irvine Unit were being laid for traditional Christmas fare. Places were ready for relatives who had accepted the invitation by East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust to join their loved ones for lunch at £3.50 a head.
“Staff, many wearing festive headgear, were busy with the morning rounds but all had time to greet the gift-bearers.
On Christmas Eve, the Chaplain had led a mixed party of carol-singers around the unit, spreading the Christmas message from bay to bay and room to room as they went.”
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