Nurses standing in front of a lit Christmas tree in the hospital grounds

10 December 2021

RMF Health Lights Up Christmas For NHS Lothian Patients And Staff  

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NHS Lothian Charity has been working with RMF Health to spread joy to patients and staff who will be spending Christmas in hospital.

RMF Health, a consortium of Robertson Construction and FES, has sponsored trees at the Western General Hospital and made a further donation to help make hospital feel like home for patients and staff spending Christmas away from their families.

RMF Health’s project manager, Graham Stewart, joined newest NHS Lothian recruit, nurse Aoife Callaghan, and one of the longest serving members of staff, nurse Fiona Johnson, in turning on the lights of the beautiful Nordic Christmas tree outside the Anne Ferguson Building. There were also speeches of thanks from Hospital Director, Chris Stirling, and Hospital Chaplin, Alistair Ridland.

“A Christmas tree is a recognised symbol of the festive period. Its lights can brighten up an area and make it feel more uplifting”, explains Tumong Edwards, Community and Events Fundraiser at NHS Lothian Charity.

“Staff, patients and visitors will be able to enjoy these trees throughout the hospital, not only in passing but also from the windows of wards, helping to bring Christmas from the outside in. A heartfelt thanks to RMF Health for their continued and generous support with these trees and for helping us make Christmas special for patients and staff across our hospitals and communities.”

Chris Stirling, Western General Hospital Director, added:

“On behalf of the Western General I’d like to thank RMF Health for their ongoing support and all the NHS Lothian Charity supporters for helping to bring Christmas to the Western and all our hospitals across NHS Lothian. We are heartened by the kindness of others who help our NHS staff continue to go above and beyond during the festive period to lift the spirits of those who are unwell and require medical care in our hospitals.”

Speaking on behalf of RMF Health, David Cairns, said:

“We have been working at the Western General Hospital for the last 3 years, and during this time have come to further appreciate the outstanding work that takes place within the hospital on a daily basis. It is our pleasure and privilege to sponsor the trees at the hospital and to help create some happy memories for those patients across NHS Lothian who are spending Christmas in hospital. We hope that our contribution will help spread some festive joy to those who find themselves having a hospital stay and to the staff who will be working over the period.”

Sadly, many people find themselves in hospital away from loved ones over the festive period, too unwell to go home. Many NHS staff are also away from family, caring for their patients and going that extra mile to make Christmas special for them. Thanks to money raised from NHS Lothian Charity supporters, things like festive treats, Christmas crackers or a small gift can be bought to spread some Christmas cheer in wards, which help reduce isolation, improve mood and bolster morale.

Jenny Pewsey, who spent a previous Christmas in hospital, said:

“A few years ago, I spent Christmas asan inpatient. I’m lucky to have family who could come and visit, but this was the only gift a lot of my fellow patients received that morning. Giving a small amount of money that you’ll soon forget about can help somebody to feel remembered.”

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