An MP and the mayor and mayoress of Worthing made a special trip to Worthing Hospital on Christmas Eve to spread some festive cheer.
Tim Loughton, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, and councillor Paul and Sandra Baker, the mayor and mayoress of Worthing, were welcomed to the hospital by chief operating officer Jayne Black.
She explained how the hospital gets busier over Christmas and New Year when other healthcare services are less available.
Jayne said: “Our doors never close and we are always here for people, but it is also very important that people only attend A&E when it is absolutely necessary.
“However, if you think you need urgent medical attention you should never delay calling NHS 111, your GP, or 999 in an emergency.”
Last year, more than 5,600 people attended the A&E departments in Chichester and Worthing during the two-week Christmas holiday – up 15 per cent in just two years.
Similarly, over the same two weeks, 2,200 people needed admitting to a hospital bed in Worthing and Chichester – 12 per cent more than was the case just two years earlier.
The Christmas party visited various departments in Worthing Hospital on Christmas Eve, including Radiology, Accident and Emergency and Children’s A&E, as well as Broadwater Ward where they drew a Christmas raffle.
The MP, mayor and mayoress wished everyone working in the trust’s hospitals a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Mr Baker said: “It is inspirational to see how dedicated staff at Worthing Hospital are and it has been an absolute pleasure to wish them a Merry Christmas today.”
Mr Loughton said: “It is always a pleasure to visit Worthing Hospital and on each occasion we learn of new achievements or improvements that staff are making at Western Sussex Hospitals.”
During the visit, Mr Loughton and Mr Baker also found out more about a new charitable partnership at the hospital called Baby Basics which supports new mothers in need – read more about the project here.