Mayor brings seasonal cheer to patients

A DECORATED Christmas tree dominated the atrium in Bexhill Hospital's Irvine Unit as the Town Mayor and Mayoress paid the customary Christmas Morning visit.

Those of the 28 patients remaining in the festively-decorated unit over the holiday who were able to get out of bed were gathered beneath the tree in this sun-lit communal area awaiting Christmas dinner.

Carols were playing quietly over the speaker system as consultant geriatrician Dr James Dennison paid his usual Christmas morning visit.

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Following another Irvine Unit tradition, his mother Mrs Beryl Dennison was also present to ensure that gifts individually given and exquisitely wrapped by her fellow members of Bexhill Floral Group were ready for distribution.

For nurse practitioner Jayne Whiting and her colleagues, this was a typical Christmas at Bexhill Hospital. Soon to arrive for patients was lunch, offering a choice of roast turkey and all the trimmings, canneloni or a Yuletide vegetarian option followed by Christmas pudding or ice cream. The Christmas tree was the gift of DIY store B and Q.

A medical trolley laden with gifts awaited Town Mayor Cllr Peter Fairhurst and his wife and Mayoress Valery. They soon threw themselves into the task of distributing to patients these seasonal offerings provided by the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital.

The first patient the civic couple met was Margaret Armstrong. She told the Observer: "I went into the Conquest Hospital on November 22. I came here a fortnight ago. They are very good to us - wonderful."

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For George Willis, the season is always a doubly special time for - rather a long time ago - he was a Christmas baby.

In addition to his presents, he received a 95th birthday kiss from the Mayoress and from Senior Staff Nurse "Flip" Izzard.