Healthcare workers’ team effort over ChristmasDec 04, 2020
Emergency Medicine Specialist Dr Matt Davenport will be one of many frontline healthcare staff working at Port Macquarie Base Hospital during the busy Christmas/New Year period.
In his second Christmas in Port Macquarie, Dr Davenport is expecting the usual increase in emergency department presentations often associated with summer holidays and an influx of visitors to the area.
“Over the Christmas period it won’t just be us working, it’s a massive team effort,” Dr Davenport said.
“When we talk about emergency frontline workers, we mean a whole group of people that work together to ensure the hospital runs smoothly. That includes those cleaning the wards, moving patients around, working in the kitchen and in administration, the specialists, the surgeons, nurses and GPs.”
Dr Davenport says working in a hospital emergency department during the Christmas period can challenging as you are dealing with people at their most vulnerable.
“The really nice thing is that you get lots of visitors who say what a beautiful place it is,” he said.
“On the flip side, it’s obviously a difficult time for some people who are a bit more isolated, for people who are alone, for people who are struggling with their mental health – so it’s about offering those people support.”
He reminded the community to stay COVID-safe, look out for each other and eat and drink in moderation during the festive period.
“We are incredibly grateful as a group of emergency frontline workers that the community has taken its responsibility in protecting everybody else so seriously this year,” he said.
“Thanks to everyone’s efforts in complying with those hard measures we are not dealing with the numbers of sick and dying people or having to make the difficult decisions that other countries are.”
Dr Davenport has practised as an emergency doctor in Manchester and London and did a stint in central Australia working with the Royal Flying Doctor Service before moving here permanently.
“It was the best introduction to Australia. I loved being outback and I really fell in love with the place, the real bits of Australia,” he said.
This will be his second Christmas in Port Macquarie after moving to Australia with his wife Carrie, who is also a doctor at the hospital, and their two young children from the UK in November last year just days before the local bushfire emergency.
“Christmases in Australia are totally, totally different,” Dr Davenport said. “Rather than expecting snow, you spend the day barbecuing and going to the beach, it’s seems quite surreal.”
His past 12 months in Port Macquarie have been an “incredibly unusual time” with bushfires and COVID-19 but he is grateful to live in Port Macquarie.
“We feel incredibly lucky, we could have been in the UK right now,” he said. “They are having a much different time and we’ve been really lucky to be in a beautiful place where we’ve all looked after each other.”