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Dec 21 2017

Challenges Faced by Doctors & Patients Over Christmas

What happens when London shuts down?

woman and child by christmas tree

Every year around the festive period, London tends to quieten down.

The one thing that you do not want to quieten down however is the medical sector! But of course, doctors are only humans and many of them take time off during this time of year.

Harley street and many of the private hospitals are very short of staff – not only their consultants – but also nurses and GPs to say the least.

While we are open throughout the Christmas period, there are some seasonal challenges that working doctors face during the holidays.

  1. Laid-back attitude. It is very important during this time of year to know you can see an experienced, professional doctor who is serious about his/her patients. This applies to the hospitals too – it is very important that the culture in hospitals over the festive period is not focused on partying. We have heard some horror stories in the past about doctors missing a patient’s dose due to having a small party in the hospital ward’s office.
  2. Lack of resources and support. A study in Britain found that if you are taking in an emergency to hospital on Christmas Day, you are more likely to die than on any other day[1]! This is a key challenge.
  3. Restricted knowledge base. This can be due to two main reasons; firstly, many senior consultants or doctors are on holiday. Or secondly, because many specialties are lacking in staff or personnel. This is very common for smaller towns or even smaller countries such as the UK.

While there may be challenges to healthcare over the festive period, it is useful to know that those who have dedicated themselves to work throughout have a certain infallible dedication to their profession. They are the ones who tend to go out of their way after all, and commit to helping others and working hard when other do not want to!



[1] Why Do More People Die on Christmas, New Years? –

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