Happy Christmas to all our staff and to everyone in our care



Children's Choir at Mayo General

Children's Choir performing at Mayo General Hospital last week

The HSE wishes all service users and staff a happy and healthy Christmas. It is important to recognise and thank all of the staff who are working over the Christmas period - medical staff, ambulance staff, nurses, cooks, receptionists, security, porters, administration staff - everyone involved in providing services to people in our care. During the festive period staff will continue to provide essential health services to people who need them.

Our Hospitals will be functioning for emergency services as usual on a 24-hour period and GP services will also operate. However over Christmas and New Year you should only come to hospital or contact a GP out of hours service if you have a genuine illness or emergency.

View contact details of our Hospitals and GP Out of Hours Services at these links.

In an emergency, to call an ambulance, call 112 or 999.

The HSE infoline operates from Monday to Saturday, from 8am to 8pm, on 1850 24 1850, providing information on all HSE services nationwide. Over Christmas, the infoline will operate as normal, apart from the following days:

Christmas Day, December 25th - Closed
St. Stephen's Day, December 26th - Closed
New Year's Day, January 1 - Closed

By following our safety tips below, you and your family can ensure that this Christmas is as safe and peaceful as possible.


Personal Safety:

  • Make sure you call into your elderly relatives and neighbours to ensure they are safe, warm and have the necessary supplies. Check that there is enough food and that the heating system is in working order
  • Wrap up well when going outside in cold weather, wear a hat and gloves to give protection against the cold. Wear low heel shoes with a good grip if the weather is icy
  • Make sure that if you or a relative are on prescription drugs that you have enough to cover you over the festive period
  • Keep all plastic packaging out of the reach of children
  • Do not drink and drive, nominate a designated driver or take a taxi
  • It takes the body over one hour to process an alcoholic drink. Make sure to drink lots of water or alternate alcoholic drinks with a soft drink
  • Take care of your personal safety when drinking and practice safe sex if you are sexually active


Household safety:

  • Don't forget to switch off Christmas lights before you go to bed, place a fireguard in front of an open fire and leave it there overnight
  • Candles add to the festive mood - but they can also be extremely dangerous. Do not leave them near flammable material, within a child's reach or in a position where they could be knocked over. Just like the Christmas lights, don't forget to make sure they are fully extinguished before you go to bed
  • Make sure all of your smoke alarms are in working order, do not remove batteries for toys. A disappointed child is no comparison to an injured child


Food Safety:

  • In the kitchen, cook the turkey thoroughly, make sure that the juices of the turkey run clear or use a food thermometer to ensure you reach the correct temperature
  • Keep raw meats separate from cooked foods; always store cooked/chilled foods on higher shelves in your fridge. Keep leftovers refrigerated for re-use, if you are re-heating make sure the food is piping hot. Remember cold foods should be served cold and hot foods kept hot
  • Always wash your hands before handling food. Wash your hands after handling raw meat, poultry or fish; using the toilet; gardening or handling rubbish; handling a pet or any other animal

For further information on Keeping Well This Winter please contact the Winter Information Line on 1850 24 1850.


The HSE would again like to wish everyone, patients, service users and staff, a happy and healthy Christmas.




Last updated on: 22 / 12 / 2008