Chris Whitty praised for Christmas shifts treating Covid patients

Professor Chris Whitty has been praised for helping to treat coronavirus patients at a London hospital over Christmas. 

England’s Chief Medical Officer, who is also a practising doctor, had previously confirmed he would be ‘on the wards’ for the festive period. 

Now the medic, who has come to prominence during the pandemic thanks to regular appearances on the Covid press briefings, has been hailed for his contribution over the holidays, when he reportedly worked at University College London Hospitals Trust. Professor Whitty, a consultant physician, did shifts on the hospital’s respiratory ward over the weekend and on bank holiday Monday, according to The Independent.

Dr Neil Stone, who works at the hospital, tweeted late on Christmas Eve: ‘A very happy Christmas to everyone and especially all the #NHS workers –  in particular our fantastic ID team (including [Dr Michael Marks] and [Professor Whitty]) who will be on the wards so the rest of us can have a bit of time off!

‘Next year will be better!’ 

On November 26, Professor Whitty, 54, confirmed he would be ‘on the wards’ over Christmas, as he urged the public to respect guidelines to slow the spread of the virus.

Hospitals in London have since declared major incidents as the NHS struggles to cope with a huge surge in Covid patients, with more people now in hospital than during the first peak. 

It comes before the impact of a significant rise in daily cases translates into hospital admissions, and as the UK reported a record 53,135 daily cases on Tuesday.  

There are fears that NHS staff could be forced to choose who lives and who dies ‘within days’.

On Wednesday Professor Whitty welcomed news of the Oxford jab’s approval, branding it ‘safe and effective’, and adding: ‘It is very good news that the independent regulator has now authorised for use the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.’

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been contacted for comment by 

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