I know that people in our communities have made a great deal of personal sacrifices since March 2020.

While this is a very special and important time for many and we want everyone to be able to enjoy some festive cheer, this year, more than ever, we also need to ensure that we celebrate safely and do not inadvertently put each other at risk.

There is always more demand for our emergency department in the winter, which can mean people have to wait a bit longer.

So if you need urgent care but it isn’t life threatening, please call 111 first to get help going to the right place for the care you need.

Even when we are very busy all our staff take great care to see that you and everyone in our community are able to get care and treatment when they need it.

You can show your support by contributing to our winter appeal, which will help to support our staff through this busy time. Visit www.whittingtonhealthcharity.org to donate.

On behalf of everyone at Whittington Health – working in our hospital and in the community – we would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a wonderful new year.

Siobhan Harrington is chief executive of Whittington Health NHS Trust.