Christmas is nearly here and this is the time of year that we spend more time socialising with friends and family and being out and about.

We have seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 and flu cases and that is why I would like to remind you to please wear a face covering at all times if you are visiting our hospital wards.

As you are aware we look after the most vulnerable in our communities and we have to do everything we can to protect them.

Please do not attend our hospitals if you are COVID-19 positive, are showing relevant symptoms, feel unwell or are isolating.

There are actions we can all take to help reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to others. These actions will also help to reduce the spread of other respiratory infections, such as flu, which can spread easily and may cause serious illness in some people.

By choosing to do simple things in your daily life, you can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections and protect those at highest risk. These can include getting vaccinated; letting fresh air in if meeting others indoors; practise good hygiene by washing your hands, covering your coughs and sneezes and also wearing a face covering or face mask.

Wearing face coverings and face masks can help reduce the chance of you spreading infection to others, especially in crowded and enclosed spaces, and may protect you from becoming infected by some respiratory viruses.

I would also like to say a special thank you this week to Martha and Ben Gumsley who raised more than £1,500 following the sad loss of their baby son, George, and have created well-being boxes for bereaved parents in hospital.

Martha, a nurse at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), and Ben Gumsley, a paramedic, lost their son George at 21 weeks gestation.

They wanted to make the stay of parents using the bereavement suite to be a little less daunting and a bit more peaceful whilst they go through a really hard time.

The well-being boxes, which are called ‘Love from, George’, include an array of toiletries for parents, a hot water bottle teddy, cosy blanket, water bottle, grief book, cosy socks, notebook and pen, resources to access help online and a voucher for the hospital cafe to get a hot drink or cake.

Martha and Ben have been so kind and thoughtful about the items in the well-being boxes and I know they are of great comfort to families experiencing the loss of a baby.

They hope to keep re-stocking the boxes for as long as fundraising allows. If you would like to help raise money for the well-being boxes, please email bereavement midwives Charlotte or Michelle on To donate, you can also click here.

Finally, I would like to thank our staff who will be working hard caring for patients over the Christmas period. I wish all Star readers a very happy and healthy Christmas and thank you to everyone in the communities we serve for your support throughout the year!