Down in Doc-Ville
Liked Christmas a lot…
But the Grinch, he was different
In short he did NOT!
Nor could he stand and he viewed with suspicion,
Anyone calling themselves a physician.
He did not like doctors who treated with pills,
He did not like doctors with surgical skills,
He did not like doctors who’d pessaries fit,
He did not like doctors not one little bit.
The Grinch made his home in an ivory tower,
From where he enjoyed a position of power
His aim it was simple, to make life more tricky
For those who took care of the folk who felt icky.
While seasonal sickness caused workloads to rocket
The Grinch paced the room with his hands in his pocket
And came up with schemes that would lessen staff joy,
Schemes that he knew he could happ’ly employ.
‘Repeat medication prescribing’s a bore,
Though not a particularly challenging chore.
And yet’, thought the Grinch, ‘were the pills to run short,
It might take them longer than that which it ought.’
So to the town chemist, the Grinch sneaked one night
(His fiendish design was to him a delight)
He emptied the shelves that he found out the back –
Of the drugs that folk needed, he took every pack!
Next day in the practices chaos it ensued,
Patients they hollered, and patients they booed
And doctors worked late as they took up their quest
For substitute drugs that might suit patients best.
Though hassle abounded, he did not rest yet, he
Came up with a diktat, one even more petty,
A rule he’d impose and for no other reason
Than it would suck joy from the holiday season.
‘Advanced Access sessions must not go undone,
Everyone knows that they offer such fun,
Christmas can not be allowed to impede
The late evening access we know patients need’.
Still one further burden he wished to impose
You’d expect nothing less from a Grinch I suppose
This most evil scheme would all others surpass
I guess you could call it his Grinch ‘coup de grâce’
‘One of the things of which Christmas comprises
Is the joy we all get from those festive surprises
What fun could be had then if on Christmas Eve
We schedule a call from the loathed CQC?
Whilst fretting ‘bout protocols of questionable worth
There’ll be no more time left for laughter or mirth –
All tinsel and trees will be faced with removal
Since they will not meet with inspector approval’.
His plans all enacted, a smile crossed his face
And he snuck back to town to see what would take place
He entered a practice hoping that he’d see there
A clinic in crisis and filled with despair.
But though he’d caused hassle, frustration and grief
The Grinch he had failed to deliver his brief
Cos all of the staff, they continued to show,
Patience and kindness, despite all the woe.
No matter how grinchy the Grinch kept on grinching,
No matter the pennies he could not stop pinching,
No matter the hurdles he put in the way,
Staff, they kept caring, e’en on Christmas Day.
The grinch, undeterred by this unhappy end,
He called on ‘The Covid’ his virally friend
‘To make Docs unhappy, seems I need a hand
Could you cause some trouble to spread cross the land?’
The Covid, he grinned, as he warmed to his task
‘I’ll make all the doctors consult in a mask.
They’ll wear plastic pinnies and gloves of bright blue
And visors of perspex that obscure their view
I’ll lessen the number of folk that they see,
Replace human contact with soulless IT
And just to ensure they’re all kept working busily
I’ll see that their patients all share in the misery’
Some folk he made poorly and some he made poor
Some he made think they could go on no more
Some he made anxious, yes some he made scared
Some he made feel that nobody else cared
But still the docs doctored, the nurses they nursed
The managers managed, even though a few cursed
The Admins administered, the cleaners they cleaned
And together they thwarted the plans of that fiend.
So if you want a moral to take from this rhyme,
An adage, a maxim, to last for all time,
It’s ‘Grinching the service will all of us cost.
But NHS spirit will never be lost.’
And despite all the sorrow that Covid has brought
One thing that at Christmas to remember we ought –
Those long ago angels, ‘Fear not,’ they still say
And soon all our tears will have been wiped away
With that I will leave you,
And wish you good cheer,
A most Merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year.
A dramatic reading of this poem by Lenny the Lion will be available on my Facebook page from the evening of December 11th 2021. Ralph Fiennes was sadly unavailable!
Other Christmas themed blogs of a medical nature:
For ‘Twas the week before Christmas 2020’ click here
For ‘A Primary Care Christmas Carol – Stave One’ click here
For ‘A Merry, and Resilient, Christmas – a Personal View’ click here
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