Santa (David Smyth)

In the run up to his all-important Christmas Eve deliveries, Santa Claus has announced that he will be hanging up his sleigh bells in the new year and opting for a new career with NHS Fife.

Retired nurse David Smyth, who until recently was the resident Santa at the popular grotto within Dobbies Garden Centre in Dunfermline, has decided to give the gift of Covid protection by joining the NHS Fife immunisation team in January, rather than returning to the North Pole and a well-earned rest.

David retired earlier this year after a 35-year NHS career as a paediatric nurse, which included achieving a MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner degree. After joining NHS Fife in 2011, David became a member of the children’s community team, providing care to children and families with complex and palliative care needs.

With a successful stint of helping to make local children’s Christmas dreams come true as Santa, Dunfermline-based David feels the time is right to return to the NHS frontline and help out his former colleagues.

“It’s been really good fun providing a bit of festive magic to the kids of Fife but sadly Santa is only for Christmas,” said David, who prior to his grotto duties at Dobbies had been touring the UK in his motorhome since retiring in February.

“With all that’s going on, the next step for me has been to enlist again with NHS Fife and start helping with Covid vaccinations early next year. So, it’ll be a full circle from Health Service to elf service and back again!”

Signing off with a final message before ringing in his new career in the new year, Santa said: “Ho, Ho, Ho! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!”



Image 1: Santa – aka David Smyth – rings in a new career after a stint at Dobbies, Dunfermline grotto [DOWNLOAD].

Image 2: David Smyth swaps his Santa suit for an NHS uniform [DOWNLOAD].