For the first time in two years, Royal Preston Hospital has been able to get into the festive spirit with a small-scale Christmas lights switch-on.
Festivities kicked-off earlier this afternoon in an outdoor garden space at Royal Preston Hospital, where a small number of staff and patients were treated to a special Christmas performance by the Longbridge Brass Band.
Due to Covid-19 regulations which still apply to all NHS and social care settings, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has not been able to hold festive events for two years.
Later in the evening a small number of staff gathered in the outdoor garden space to get in the Christmas spirit. An Order of Service was led by Lead Chaplain, Martin McDonald, and there were Christmas carols from the Trust’s staff-led Choir who as of recent, have only been able to get together online; before 14-year-old Selina, an inpatient, did the honours of switching-on the lights.
Across the Trust, a range of programmes to improve and create new rest and recreation areas for staff since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic have been taking shape at Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospital sites, which have in part been funded through fundraising efforts for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity.
Patients visiting Chorley & South Ribble Hospital will notice that the front entrance has been lit-up with Christmas lights; a tradition which dates back to 2005 but has not been possible since 2019.
Martin McDonald, Lead Chaplain at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The switching-on of Christmas lights symbolises what Christmas is really about; bringing light and hope into the darkness.
“It has been a very difficult eighteen months for everyone and to be able to hold these small festive gatherings for the first time in two years is wonderful and will hopefully bring a smile to patients and staff who celebrate Christmas.”