Christmas culinary challenge for NHS

The NHS will serve more than 400,000 lunches on Christmas Day in the UK.

The traditional turkey meals are for patients, but tens of thousands of staff working on the big day will tuck in to their dinner in a hospital canteen.

Across the UK, 12,000 midwives will have to time theirs around delivering 1,800 Christmas babies.

At care homes in England there will be 200,000 staff sitting down to eat during a break in their shift.

Lane House Residential Care Home in Tamworth will be serving turkey with all the trimmings, including roast and mashed potatoes, stuffing, carrots, parsnips, peas, sprouts and cranberry sauce, followed by Christmas pudding served with either custard or brandy sauce.

After lunch there will be a ‘film afternoon’ for the residents, along with a buffet tea of finger sandwiches, scotch eggs, sausage rolls, pork pies and mince pies.

At University College Hospital London it will be “business as usual”, but with some extra Christmas magic.

Ana Veloso, nursing assistant in the acute medical unit, said: “Christmas Day is extra-special. We put up decorations, the nurses wear hats and earrings, and the patients are given presents.”

At Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool. Father Christmas will be paying a visit to the ward.

Val Shannon, voluntary services manager at Alder Hey, said: “Christmas should always be special for children and our staff will do everything possible to make Christmas Day as magical as possible for our patients, many of whom are very poorly.

“Father Christmas will visit our wards on Christmas morning and every child in the hospital will receive a sack full of presents.

“There is also a traditional Christmas lunch, prepared by our ward-based chefs and complete with Christmas crackers. We also try to ensure our patients’ families have a special day too, by giving out toys to siblings and providing parents with vouchers for a free meal in the hospital restaurant.”

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BBC News – Health