NHS Chief thanks the staff caring for patients over Christmas

Across the UK, more than 400,000 NHS staff will be giving up time with loved ones to care for patients and their families on Christmas Day alone.

Matt Bodell
24 December 2018
Christmas tree

The Chief Executive of NHS England, is among many who has thanked healthcare workers for the care they provide over the busy festive period.

The Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has today thanked the hundreds of thousands of staff who are caring for patients over Christmas and praised their hard work during the Health Service’s 70 birthday year.

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Across the UK, more than 400,000 NHS staff will be giving up time with loved ones to care for patients and their families on Christmas Day alone.

An estimated 82,000 nurses and 55,000 nursing assistants will be working in hospitals tomorrow while 12,000 midwives are expected to welcome around 1,400 babies.

Another 12,000 frontline ambulance staff, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians and call handlers, will be on duty on Christmas Day.

In addition, around 145,000 care workers and home carers will be giving up their Christmas day, whilst an army of caterers will serve around 400,000 Christmas dinners to ensure patients in hospital don’t miss out on a festive feast.

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In a video message Simon Stevens said: “As 2018 draws to a close, it’s been a big year for the National Health Service. We have been celebrating our 70th birthday and, in a year when there has been wide national debate about the future of our county, there has been wide agreement about the continuing importance of the National Health Service. 

“There have been huge recognition about the pressures on the NHS and our staff. But also the amazing advances we are continuing to see – in cancer treatment or mental health

“So, I’m here at the hospital where my own son was born on Christmas Day 15 years ago, and it’s a reminder that right throughout the year – whether it’s midwives or catering assistants or junior doctors or therapists or nurses or the 1.3m people who look after us right across the country – they’re here for us, when we need them.

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“As we approach the end of the year, it’s only right that we take a moment on behalf of the whole country to say an enormous thank you.

“We understand the pressures you’re under, we greatly appreciate the compassion and the care that you show, and we know that without you the NHS would not be the brilliant service that the whole nation wants to continue to see.”

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