IN THIS IS­SUE

10.12.17

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Editor’s Letter -

A few days before Christ­mas last year, a close relative was taken into hos­pi­tal with a se­ri­ous – though for­tu­nately tem­po­rary – ill­ness. I raced to the hos­pi­tal to visit her and found my­self en­ter­ing a very dif­fer­ent world. Once past the row of grey-faced men in dress­ing gowns puff­ing on cig­a­rettes out­side in the icy af­ter­noon, it was clear the hos­pi­tal was full to burst­ing, with win­dow ar­eas be­ing used as ad­di­tional bays. My relative was in one of these. Just across the cor­ri­dor – with no doors be­tween – was the triage area, where pa­tients en­ter­ing the hos­pi­tal are as­sessed. Bright lights shone down, hos­pi­tal staff ran here and there, cu­bi­cle cur­tains were whipped across, con­cerned rel­a­tives stood wide-eyed and silent with shock. It looked like a war zone. For the staff, there would be no time to think about Christ­mas shop­ping or dec­o­rat­ing the Christ­mas tree or even go­ing to a party – their pri­or­ity was to give the pa­tients (far too many for too few staff) the at­ten­tion they needed. On page 34 Dr Rachel Clarke de­scribes what it’s like spend­ing Christ­mas on duty in hos­pi­tal. And – even though she has to leave her chil­dren at home on this most spe­cial of days – how the ex­pe­ri­ence can be hum­bling and up­lift­ing. They say that be­hind every great man is a great woman; well, be­hind top vlog­ger and in­flu­encer Jim Chap­man there are four. These fab­u­lous women have guided him from shy teenager to hugely suc­cess­ful on­line star. He pays trib­ute to them on page 56. Fi­nally, even some­thing as sim­ple as a bar of soap or a pair of socks be­comes spe­cial when it’s beau­ti­fully wrapped. Our in­te­ri­ors team shows how to give your gifts the wow fac­tor on

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