This summer saw the NHS turn 75 and celebratory events took place across Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust to mark the occasion – including at City Community Hospital in Oxford. In fact, patients enjoyed their afternoon tea party so much in July that they asked staff whether another event could be planned soon afterwards.

Having heard some patients joking about having a glass of wine during their NHS75 celebrations, ward staff became inspired to organise a (non-alcoholic) ‘wine and cheese event’ in August. Funded by Oxford Health Charity, an assortment of cheeses, crackers and crusty bread was laid out for patients, their families and staff members to enjoy, along with a selection of sparkling fruit drinks and non-alcoholic wines.

Background music helped create a ‘French bistro’ atmosphere during the afternoon, while staff enjoyed relaxed opportunities to talk with patients and their families. In-keeping with the ‘cheesy’ theme, a display board held a variety of cheese-related jokes and Maureen, the ward’s housekeeper, kept attendees further entertained with a cheese quiz – with small prizes for the winners. 


Talking with Oxford Health Charity afterwards about the impact of the event, Ward Manager, Lisa Wall, commented:

“We requested help from the charity so that we could give the patients a really good experience, with a good variety of food and drink to choose from….one of the key features of the event was that the patients got to try a variety of cheeses which we would not otherwise have been able to pay for.”

Lisa continued:

“The patients had such a good afternoon that they are asking when we will be having our next event. One of our patients asked if he was in heaven as he had not had an experience like that in hospital before!”

Ade Adegboyega, Matron for City and Bicester Community Hospitals, also attended the afternoon and echoed Lisa’s comments, stating that their patients: 

“…all had an amazing time and did not feel like they were in hospital.”

The charity team are delighted to have been able to fund this event and to hear that all those invited took great pleasure from their afternoon ‘bistro experience’. We’re also looking forward to learning more about the ward’s plans for their next event – welcoming the arrival of autumn with a celebration of sausages from around the world!