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25 December 2016, 00:00
Hospitals across Kent are doing their best this festive season to make sure their youngest patients still have a great Christmas, despite having to stay away from home.
Children's wards have been decorated with bright and colourful decorations, parties have been hosted for the youngsters and their families, carol singers have visited and Father Christmas has also made sure to deliver presents.
Lizzie Worthern, Matron for Child Health at East Kent hospitals NHS University Trust told Heart that it can be a particularly difficult time for children stuck in hospital because they are away from family and feel they are missing out on things. And so they go the extra mile to make it fun.
She said, "Christmas is a very, very busy time for us, partly because we're in the Winter season which means that we have a lot of children, specifically with respiratory problems. So, the ward (at the QEQM in Margate) at the moment is absolutely kitted out and decked out with Christmas decorations everywhere - you look like you've walked into a Santa's grotto.
"The nurses are cheery, some are wearing headbands and decorations, and the ward is an absolute buzz at the moment".
She says that a hospital stay for a child over Christmas can also impact on the rest of the family Parents are encouraged to visit as much as possible and there are facilities for one of them to stay the night with their child. They are also provided with food, and presents are given out to siblings as well as the child in hospital.