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Creating special memories for patients and families at Christmas time

As Junior Sister at St Luke’s Hospice, Robyn Smith says she thoroughly enjoys working on Christmas Day.

In fact, this will be the third year that she has worked the holiday on the St Luke’s In Patient Centre.

“I know that Christmas is traditionally about spending time with your family but I also think it’s a very special time to look after our patients,” she says.

“What I really enjoy is seeing the patients with their families, helping them to create what we hope will be very special memories.”

Christmas Day, of course, should be just like any other day in a hospice, where patient care is the number one priority.

But at the same time, the St Luke’s team make sure there is a genuine Festive atmosphere.

That means all the usual things you’d expect from Christmas Day as well as music from Sheffield’s popular Hallmark of Harmony choir and a traditional Christmas lunch for both patients and guests.

“The difference on Christmas Day is that while normally you might expect most visitors to come after work, this is the one time when you will have people visiting throughout the day so we are actually quite busy,” says Robyn.

“We want all those people to have as good a Christmas as they possibly can but that does sometimes mean having to think on your feet because while you are being cheerful with one set of visitors, you have to remember that another might be visiting somebody who is very ill.”

And just because Robyn is working from 7am to 7.30pm doesn’t mean she will miss Christmas altogether.

“I open my presents when I get home and then I have my Christmas Day on Boxing Day with my mum and dad,” she says.

“We go to the football first - I’m a big United fan – and then we have the big Christmas dinner after that.

“So you could say I’m very lucky because I have two very special days.”

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