Doctors forced to cancel their Christmas party have thanked a Kentish Town pub for the last-minute refund.

A group of 65 medics on the Covid front line at the Royal Free Hospital were due to celebrate their Christmas Party at the Bull and Gate pub in Kentish Town Road on December 10.

But "knowing what's coming" they felt they had "no choice" and reluctantly called the pub, who in turn refunded them in full.

A doctor, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "Intensive care doctors had to cancel their Christmas party because of Covid and one of the parties spoke to the Bull and Gate in Kentish Town, and they've kindly refunded us all the money even though we gave them less than 24 hours notice – and they sent us a lovely email saying we were doing the right thing."

Staff organised two parties for doctors and intensive care doctors "who take the brunt of the Covid response and have been the all the way through".

"A lot of venues are keeping deposits," they said. "They just gave us complete refund without any arguments and said 'we look forward to seeing you after the surge' [although] clearly this is a big hit for them financially.

"We've been there 13 years in a row so clearly they didn't have to do this."

On December 14, Professor Chris Whitty warned a “significant increase in hospitalisations” is coming from the Covid Omicron variant, with Boris Johnson telling ministers to expect a “huge spike” in infections.

The doctor said: "The majority of people were really upset about it being cancelled. It wasn't so much that they couldn't have a party, it was more what it meant, what's coming our way, there was a lot of upset surrounding that so at least they weren't financially hit as well.

"Like the rest of the nation Omicron is hitting us so getting 65 doctors together isn't the right answer.

"We're going to postpone it and have a spring party, when we know everyone's safe."