Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones is The Most Important Gift This Christmas

18 December 2020

The Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine are urging people across the United Kingdom and those visiting it, to remain vigilant over the Christmas period. With a worrying rise in Coronavirus cases being seen across the country, hospitals are under considerable pressure. We all have a duty to help contain the spread of the virus and reduce the chance of a third wave in January.

This year has been tough on all of us, and it is understandable that many will want to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones. However, despite the relaxation of the restrictions, we must all remain cautious. Any subsequent rise in cases could have a potentially devastating impact on the capacity of hospitals to provide COVID and non-COVID services. We are already seeing record waiting lists, and what happens over the Christmas period will directly impact whether the situation gets better or increasingly worse.

We want to make sure that you, your family, and your loved ones all have the safest Christmas possible. We urge you to limit the risk of infection by washing your hands for 20 seconds and following the guidance on self-isolation if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID. It is also vital that If you develop symptoms, you get a free NHS test

The elderly and those with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable this Christmas, and we encourage the public to stick to the rules of hands, face, space when visiting and postpone any gatherings if possible.

Anaesthetists and Intensive Care doctors are working incredibly hard to care for their patients this winter, but they can only do so much. Increased admissions of COVID could see ICU’s stretched to their capacity and will also increase the risk of healthcare workers getting infected, impacting many other services.

It has never been more important for people to take personal responsibility for the health of themselves and others around them. Remember protecting yourself, your family and your loved ones is the most important gift you can give this year.


Professor Ravi Mahajan, President, Royal College of Anaesthetists
Dr Alison Pittard, Dean, Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine


For further information or to arrange interviews contact:

Verity Sinclair, Press Officer, Royal College of Anaesthetists

Mobile: +44 (0) 7849800061


Gavin Dallas, Head of Communications, Royal College of Anaesthetists

Mobile: +44 (0) 7590 498 288


RCoA out of hours mobile: +44 (0) 7711 767377

Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA)

Anaesthesia is the largest single hospital specialty in the NHS. The Royal College of Anaesthetists is the professional body responsible for the specialty throughout the UK, and it ensures the quality of patient care through the maintenance of standards in anaesthesia, critical care and pain medicine. 


The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM)

FICM was founded in 2010 and has well over 3,500 members, making it the largest organisation of critical care medical professionals in the UK. The Faculty is the professional and statutory body for the specialty of intensive care medicine, the doctors who lead critical care services and Advanced Critical Care Practitioners.