How the Grinch, and Covid, stole General Practice’s Christmas

Every Doc

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.

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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