While most people are tucking into their turkey on Christmas Day, staff will be on duty at Royal Surrey County Hospital.
For many doctors, nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and many more, December 25 is just a normal day at ‘the office.’
Carlo Arrigo, a consultant in our Emergency Department, has volunteered to work on Christmas Day for the eleventh year in his career.
“I don’t mind working Christmas Day,” said the father-of-three, who is originally from Italy.
“My commitment to emergency medicine is so high that I am happy to come in.
“I actually feel lucky to be able to help people on this special day and recognise that it is important that the public know that we are here for them 24 hours a day 365 days a year.”
Dr Arrigo’s children, who are aged 16, 13 and seven years, also supported his decision to work.
“They know what I do and they told me that I was doing the right thing,” he said.
“They said, ‘Dad, you have to help people’.”
Emergency nurse practitioner Jenny Glass, will be delaying celebrations with her family until Boxing Day.
“We are a close knit unit in A&E and I will be spending the day with my work family.
“It is quite a jolly atmosphere in the department and we all make the best of it.”
Consultant Dr Elizabeth Cheshire, the Clinical Director of the Emergency Department, said: “The A&E Department provides a vital service to the local community at all times of the year.
“We are always continuing to improve and invest in the department to ensure that Royal Surrey’s A&E is something that the people of Guildford and the surrounding areas can be proud of and depend on in their time of need.
“The Christmas period, and especially the few days after Christmas, are traditionally extremely busy and it is vitally important that we all use A&E wisely over this period so we can keep it free for those who really need it.
“Patients who are very unwell and urgently need help will be prioritised and this means that those who come into the department with minor injuries or illness may face a long wait.
“If you feel unwell and are unable to manage at home or a long standing condition flares up, don’t forget you can access GP services outside of surgery hours by calling 111.
“111 will also be able to give you advice if you’re unsure whether you need A&E, and may direct you to other services including walk in centres, urgent care centres or pharmacists if your condition can be managed there, or make you an appointment with an out of hours GP, allowing you to spend more time with your loved ones over the festive season.
“In a real emergency, however, you should always attend A&E.”
Alf Turner, Deputy Chief Executive, added: “I would like to thank all the selfless staff across the hospital who will be away from their families and working on Christmas Day.
“Their commitment and hard work is always greatly appreciated.”