Father Christmas at St Mary’s

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22 December 2015 

Santa spreads Christmas cheer to children of NHS staff 

Father Christmas has been spreading some festive cheer to the children of staff working at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, as a way of thanking them for their continued dedication and commitment over the past year.

A special Santa’s Grotto was staged for the children of staff today (Tuesday, 22 December). Those attending received a gift, thanks to the generosity of Isle of Wight Estate Agent Trigg and Co who sponsored the event, and ITS Tools who kindly supplied a bouncy castle to keep the children entertained. Other organisations, including Earl Mountbatten Hospice Retail and the Costume Workshop, have also given decorations and Santa’s outfit to support the grotto.

The event was organised by the Trust’s new Staff Activities Co-ordinator, Bisi Lawal-Rieley. The part-time post has been funded, initially for one year, by the Trust’s Charitable Funds Committee and aims to boost staff morale by organising team building events and sporting activities.

Bisi said: “I am really pleased to have been given the opportunity to make a real difference to the experience staff have at work. I’m sure we can all appreciate how stressful it can be working on front line NHS services; whether that’s in a busy hospital, on ambulances attending emergency calls, in mental health and learning disability services, or out in the community where members of the public need our help in all sorts of circumstances.

“Our Santa’s Grotto is just one of the ways to bring some festive cheer to Trust staff, as many of our clinicians and other staff will be working right across the Christmas and New Year period. I’ll be asking staff for their ideas on other activities throughout the year,” Bisi added.

Karen Baker, the Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “Research shows that NHS organisations with higher levels of employee engagement have higher patient satisfaction. Like other NHS organisations across the country, we’ve experienced a particularly challenging year and our staff have really gone the extra mile to ensure the highest quality of care to our patients. Our staff are our most valuable asset and we need to ensure that they feel fulfilled in all aspects of their working life.”