Here's how to ensure every patient at Queen Alexandra Hospital opens a present this Christmas Day

GENEROUS members of the community are being called on to help spread some Christmas joy around Queen Alexandra Cosham by donating towards gifts for patients.

By Fiona Callingham
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 10:11 am

Portsmouth Hospitals Charity, with the support of The News, has officially launched its 2021 Christmas Appeal.

It is hoped the project will raise a total of £6,500, meaning that every patient in hospital will open a present on Christmas Day.

In previous years the scheme saw gifts donated to wards, however, in line with Covid restrictions the charity will use cash contributions to buy individual goodie bags.

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Penny Emerit, chief executive at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. Picture: PHUT

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Penny Emerit, chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, said: ‘We are enormously grateful for the support and generosity of our local community, particularly shown at Christmas. In previous years we have seen the positive impact your generosity has on our patients in hospital over Christmas and thank you for that.

‘While we cannot accept physical gifts, we are asking that you give what you can, to support us in providing gifts to all our patients.’

To help keep patients, staff and each-other safe, only limited visitors are currently allowed in the hospital, apart from in exceptional circumstances. This means that many family members cannot visit their loved ones as they would like this Christmas.

PHU has launched its Christmas charity appeal. Picture: PHU

Last year one patient, Janet, spent Christmas Day on E7 ward after battling Covid-19 for ten days on a ventilator in the intensive care unit.

She said: ‘Christmas Day was full of extremely mixed emotions. It was hard that my family couldn’t visit, and I hadn’t seen them all month, but knowing they were all spending the day together and trying to give my granddaughters a normal Christmas Day was comforting.

‘The staff on E7 were fantastic, despite missing their own family Christmas Day. During the morning we received a kind gift from the charity. The gift was beautifully presented and comprised of a makeup bag complete with essentials in it and a delicious slice of wrapped Christmas cake, which later in the day was greatly appreciated with a nice cup of tea.

‘The smallest gestures at a time like that are often the biggest and certainly the most memorable.’

QA Hospital on average sees around 1,200 people on Christmas day, both as inpatients and emergency attendances.

In support of the scheme, editor of The News, Mark Waldron, added: ‘Just a small donation could make all the difference to a patient at QA Hospital this Christmas.

‘So if you are able to help in any way please do so.’

Any amount raised over the targeted amount will go towards providing staff with wellbeing gifts. To donate to the appeal, please visit portsmouthhospitalscharity.enthuse.com/xmasatQA#!

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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