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Spare a thought for NHS staff at Christmas
WHEN people all over Dorset sit down to enjoy their turkey in the company of loved ones this Christmas, they may want to take a minute to think of those having to spend the day at work.
Staff at Dorset County Hospital’s emergency department are used to spending their holidays with colleagues rather than loved ones.
Emergency department consultant Doctor Fred Cartwright will be working overnight on Christmas Eve into the early hours of Christmas Day.
He said he was used to working on Christmas Day and other public holidays and in many ways approached them just as any other shift.
Dr Cartwright said: “It’s like working any other day, except you do get the odd seasonal related problems like people cutting themselves while trying to carve the turkey and stuff related to celebrations and over indulging.
“Then we also get the range of normal emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes, asthma, bronchitis and all the usual things that we get.”
He added that the closure of other services and people being away from home without access to their local GPs meant they did tend to see an increase of ‘walk-in wounded’ over the festive period.
The lack of support services such as social care and a feeling of isolation felt by those on their own over Christmas sometimes also resulted in an increase in issues such as self-harm and suicide.
Dr Cartwright said staff do a good job of keeping morale up over the Christmas period and together make it an enjoyable place to come and work.
He said: “Everyone is fine because we know somebody has to do the Christmas shift so everybody turns up and we make the best of it. I don’t mind working Christmas at all.”
Dr Cartwright will also be working on New Year’s Eve.
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