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Meet the Southern Trust staff preparing to work on Christmas Day

22nd December 2023

December 25 is just another day working day for thousands of our staff, who will be spending it caring for patients in need.

Doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, porters, midwives, domestics and domiciliary care staff are just some of those who will be on shift on Christmas Day in the Southern Trust.

We caught up with a few to see what it will be like working over the festive season.


District Nursing Service

Meet the Integrated Care Team South Down District Nursing staff, who will be working over the Christmas period.


Vanessa, Karen, Grace, Tracy, Aine, Pamela, Judy and Claire will visit patients with insulin dependent diabetes; patients with complex wounds; patients requiring Intravenous antibiotic therapy and patients requiring palliative end of life care.

The District Nursing Service runs 365 days per year providing specialist District Nursing care for vulnerable and housebound patients, often requiring complex nursing interventions.  The District Nursing Service strives to support people safely within their own home and to reduce the likelihood of them requiring hospital admissions.

Support Services


Two men with a Christmas tree behind themIn South Tyrone, Assistant Head Cook Richard McSorley will be serving up a festive feast. Richard has working in the Trust catering services for 27 years and of those has spent nearly all of those years working on Christmas Day!

“I have spent 95% of Christmas Days in the Trust. Why do I work? It’s also Christmas Day for our patients and they deserve to be treated as no-one chooses to be in hospital over Christmas.”

Kitchen Assistant Jim Murray is also no stranger to working the Christmas shift and volunteered this year to allow his colleagues with families to be off. Jim will be helping to provide dinner and tea for patients.


Support Services


Two women pictured in teal uniform with a Christmas tree in backgroundJamie Lee Bernard (Domestic Supervisor) and Eva Daly (Domestic Services), both from Dungannon, are working to ensure other staff get some time off.

Eva is looking forward to serving patients their meals, cleaning the wards and have a chat with those in hospital voer the festive period. Jamie Lee will be supporting her domestic staff and helping out as much as she can.




PACU / Recovery

Vishnu Korath, Juriza Bersabe, Joanne Wylie, Danielle Goodland and Amy Colbert will all be caring for patients in our Recovery / Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU) on Christmas Day.

A row of one man on the left and four women to the right, all holding items from a nativity scene made from hospital items

Joanne says that they will be trying to spread some festive cheer for those patients who find themselves on their wards. They are pictured with their Infection Prevention Control-approved nativity scene!

Dr Maria O’Kane, Chief Executive, said:

“We always do our best to get patients home for Christmas, if appropriate, but for those who are in hospital or need care in the community, I know our staff will be trying to make it as nice as we can for them.

“It is important to acknowledge that not everyone in healthcare gets time off from their jobs for Christmas. Our dedicated staff in the Southern Trust work unsociable hours throughout the year and we are so grateful for their support in ensuring our patients are cared for.”