NHS Chief thanks staff caring for patients over Christmas

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, today thanked the hundreds of thousands of staff who are caring for patients over Christmas and praised their hard work during the Health Service’s 70 birthday year.

The NHS chief said the milestone had showed that, as the country has hotly debated its future, people were united in their support and appreciation of the National Health Service.

In a video message Simon Stevens said: “As we approach the end of the year, it’s only right that we take a moment on behalf of the whole country to say an enormous thank you.

“We understand the pressures you’re under, we greatly appreciate the compassion and the care that you show, and we know that without you the NHS would not be the brilliant service that the whole nation wants to continue to see.”

Across the UK, more than 400,000 NHS staff will be giving up time with loved ones to care for patients and their families on Christmas Day alone.

An estimated 82,000 nurses and 55,000 nursing assistants will be working in hospitals tomorrow while 12,000 midwives are expected to welcome around 1,400 babies.

Another 12,000 frontline ambulance staff, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and call handlers, will be on duty on Christmas Day. In addition, around 145,000 care workers and home carers will be giving up their Christmas day, whilst an army of caterers will serve around 400,000 Christmas dinners to ensure patients in hospital don’t miss out on a festive feast.

Simon Stevens’ Christmas message