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21 December 2016

Father Christmas makes flying visit to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Father Christmas makes flying visit to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, with the help of Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, to ensure no child gets missed at Christmas.

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity took to the skies yesterday (21 Dec) with a very important person on board. Whilst his sleigh was in for final checks and loading of presents; Father Christmas hopped aboard the EC135 helicopter to make arrangements with staff at Bristol children's hospital.

On his descent to the hospital's helideck, which looks over Bristol's city landscape, Father Christmas took a moment to wave to patients down at the children's hospital; giving them a glimpse of his red coat and white beard.helicopter

Father Christmas said: "The run up to Christmas is a very busy time for me and my elves in the North Pole, so it is essential we plan in advance to guarantee I visit every child on Christmas Eve.

"Whilst my sleigh was in for final checks, I thought I'd take the time to visit staff at Bristol children's hospital, to discuss those children who will not be at home this Christmas. However, the hospital has no chimney; with only one place to park my sleigh, on the helideck. Thankfully, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, who flies critically sick and injured patients to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, were able to give me an insight into parking on the hospital's roof and the quickest route for me and my reindeer to travel without being seen."


Great Western Air Ambulance Charity head of fundraising and marketing, Emma Carter said: "When Father Christmas explained the situation to us we were only too happy to help. Our pilots have flown to the hospital hundreds of times, so they know the route and helideck well. We are pleased that we were able to play our part in making sure that the children in the Bristol children's hospital receive a visit this Christmas. Special thanks must go to our helicopter provider Babcock who gave us the time to do this flight for free."

Jenni Fryer, paediatric major trauma nurse co-ordinator said: "We are delighted Father Christmas has taken the time to ensure every child at Bristol children's hospital can receive their presents on Christmas Eve. 

"The route taken to bring Father Christmas in for his practice run is similar to that of a patient coming into our paediatric major trauma centre by the Great Western Air Ambulance, who we work closely with. We serve the whole of the South West of England for children who have suffered major injury which is why it is important Father Christmas knows where these children are when they are not at home for Christmas.

"We are especially grateful to all the teams who are working to support these children and their families over the festive period."

Father Christmas thanked all those involved in this festive operation saying: "I can now update my final route planner and ensure that any patient who spends their Christmas in hospital doesn't get missed. I'll also remember to use the alcohol gel as mentioned in my induction to ensure I don't bring any unwanted presents into the hospital."