How are Brighton’s health workers spending Christmas?

While many of us will be celebrating Christmas Day with family and friends, many healthcare workers will be spending today on the front lines treating people in hospitals across the country – with around a million nurses, doctors and carers working across the UK.

We spoke to some of those who will be at church on Christmas Day to care for others as they are spending today.

Lenka Mercer, senior biomedical scientist on the blood science team and in the pathology department of the NHS Trust at Sussex University Hospitals, will be carrying out blood tests and providing vital blood and blood products to patients at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton today.

She said: “Most patients who come into the emergency room and many of the patients in the wards require blood tests to help doctors make a diagnosis or monitor the patient’s condition.

“On Christmas Day we can expect to do around 500 blood tests in the hospital alone. We can test everything from kidney and liver function to blood clotting elements and measuring medication levels.

“For patients who need a blood transfusion or urgent surgery, I do blood typing and issue compatible blood for them.”

The Argus: Lenka MercerLenka Mercer (Image: NHS)

Lenka originally comes from the Czech Republic, where Christmas is traditionally celebrated on December 24th.

“My family celebrates mainly on Christmas Eve, so I’m excited to work on Christmas Day and to let more of my colleagues spend that day with their families,” she said.

David Rochester will be spending the day volunteering at Hurstpierpoint and Poynings Dementia Unit at the Princess Royal Hospital on Haywards Heath bringing some festive cheer to some patients.

He said: “I’ll make breakfast, set up the tea trolley, deliver food to patients in a Christmas hat with bells, find out what they want to eat, cheer them up and make them smile.”

Allan Buenbenida is a housekeeper at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, responsible for cleaning 24 beds.

Like all staff working over the Christmas period, she was invited to enjoy a free Christmas dinner and gift basket delivered to each of the stations.

He said: “I look forward to wishing every patient a Merry Christmas.

“My wife works as a nurse in hematology and this year she won’t have to work on Christmas Day, so she will be preparing the festive meal.

“She often cooks extra and I bring that to share with the staff.

“I will enjoy the Christmas party at home with my family in the evening before I go back to work the next day.” How are Brighton’s health workers spending Christmas?

Fry Electronics Team

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