Islington patients waited in empty clinic on Christmas day for doctor

�A sick newborn baby was left to wait around at a late-night GP surgery on Christmas Eve – even though the doctor had already left.

The baby was among a room of patients who were waiting into Christmas Day at one of Islington’s out-of-hours clinics, with no idea the only doctor had gone an hour earlier.

They were only told when one patient’s son asked why nobody was being called in.


Tom Day, 28, of Hillrise Mansions, Hornsey Rise, who is a doctor and was with his dad Brian, said: “They told me the GP had gone home an hour earlier.

“We had been waiting an hour and there was no one else to see us. I asked why they didn’t tell anyone and they just apologised and said they should have. It was a shambles.

“There was a newborn baby I was really worried about. You can’t just stick a baby in a waiting room and expect them to wait – a baby can get seriously ill in an hour.

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“Everyone was really angry and the family with the baby rushed off to hospital.”

The clinic is run by the firm Harmoni – which provides all out-of-hours GP services in Islington – and is based in St Pancras Way, King’s Cross.

Brian Day, 60, of Highwood Road, Upper Holloway, usually goes to the Tufnell Park Road Surgery in Tufnell Park.

His son Dr Day, a paediatrician who this week lodged a complaint, said there were some 10 people waiting when they arrived at about 10.45pm.

A nurse practitioner eventually turned up – but it was well after midnight before anyone was seen.

‘Not pleasant’

He added: “My dad was really ill and the last thing he wanted was to get out of bed, drive there and wait for ages – just to be told there was no doctor.

“The nurse was very good when she arrived, but they should tell you if you’re going to be seen by a nurse. It was not pleasant, especially on Christmas Eve.”

A spokesman for Harmoni said: “Harmoni is committed to providing high quality services to patients and takes their concerns very seriously.

“We have received one complaint concerning St Pancras on a very busy Christmas Eve which we will fully investigate.”