Have yourself a merry 
risk-free Christmas

17th December 2019 by Rachel Birch

Have yourself a merry 
risk-free Christmas

With seasonal cheer building and the countdown to the holidays drawing near, it is important that sessional GPs are well-prepared for possible challenges during Christmas and New Year. Dr Rachel Birch, Medicolegal Consultant at Medical Protection, offers practical advice on how to make this year as safe and enjoyable as possible.

“Let it snow! Let it snow! Let snow!……”

You may all be dreaming of a White Christmas, but this can present a challenge for sessional GPs. Snow and ice on the roads can cause significant travel disruption and, in the worst scenario, may prevent you from getting to work.

  • When driving to an unfamiliar practice, ensure that you know where you are going and plan any alternative routes in advance.
  • Leave plenty of time for travel.
  • Ensure that you have the practice direct dial number, so that you can let them know if you are going to be late.
  • Always keep your mobile phone fully charged.
  • Keep a snow shovel in the car.

“We three kings of Orient are…..”

You may not be expecting gold, frankincense and myrrh, but boxes of chocolates, fruit baskets and wine are sometimes gifted to doctors by appreciative patients. It is important that you know, in advance, what to do if you are given a festive token of their gratitude.

  • Ensure that you keep your own personal register of all gifts received.
    Familiarise yourself with the practice’s gift policy and always let the practice manager know if you have received a gift.
    Inform NHS England if you receive any presents over the value of £100.
    Do not leave wine bottles in doctors’ rooms- this could give patients the wrong impression.


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