Critics condemn NHS charity advert that shows medics ‘saving Santa from coronavirus’

Critics have slammed the NHS charity Christmas advert for showing medics battling to save Santa’s life, claiming it will ‘scare the hell out of little ones’.

The film, titled The Gift, depicts an old bearded man unconcious on a hospital bed wearing an oxygen mask as NHS medics in full PPE try to revive him.

He is later revealed to be Father Christmas who has been nursed back to health by dedicated NHS staff. 

Viewers have interpreted the presence of oxygen masks and tubes as a sign that Santa was suffering from coronavirus – in a move branded ‘insensitive’ by concerned parents.

Several feared young viewers would be traumatised thinking Santa was going to die and urged the charity to let children enjoy the festive season ‘without giving them adult problems to deal with’. 

Critics have slammed the NHS charity Christmas advert for showing medics battling to save Santa's life (pictured), claiming it will 'scare the hell out of little ones'

Critics have slammed the NHS charity Christmas advert for showing medics battling to save Santa's life (pictured), claiming it will 'scare the hell out of little ones'

Critics have slammed the NHS charity Christmas advert for showing medics battling to save Santa’s life (pictured), claiming it will ‘scare the hell out of little ones’ 

Viewers have interpreted the presence of oxygen masks and tubes (pictured) as a sign that Santa was suffering from coronavirus - in a move branded 'insensitive' by concerned parents

Viewers have interpreted the presence of oxygen masks and tubes (pictured) as a sign that Santa was suffering from coronavirus - in a move branded 'insensitive' by concerned parents

Viewers have interpreted the presence of oxygen masks and tubes (pictured) as a sign that Santa was suffering from coronavirus – in a move branded ‘insensitive’ by concerned parents

In the advert, the old bearded man – whose identity is initially unknown – is seen waking up with oxygen tubes on his face, as a mask-wearing nurse asks how he’s feeling.

The advert then depicts his slow recovery as he’s helped gradually out of a wheelchair and guided around the hospital.

He uses a mobility walker to get around in a later shot.

While he recuperates, he receives a get well soon card signed ‘Rudy’ – a nod to his reindeer Rudolph.

He is later seen reading through letters addressed ‘to Santa’ and writing alongside a long list of names.

Eventually he’s allowed to go home, and he makes his way gingerly out of the hospital, turning to wave at the nurses who cared for him.

Several feared young viewers will be traumatised by the advert (pictured) thinking Santa was going to die and urged the charity to let children enjoy the festive season 'without giving them adult problems to deal with'

Several feared young viewers will be traumatised by the advert (pictured) thinking Santa was going to die and urged the charity to let children enjoy the festive season 'without giving them adult problems to deal with'

Several feared young viewers will be traumatised by the advert (pictured) thinking Santa was going to die and urged the charity to let children enjoy the festive season ‘without giving them adult problems to deal with’

The advert depicts Santa's recovery as he's helped gradually out of a wheelchair and guided around the hospital

The advert depicts Santa's recovery as he's helped gradually out of a wheelchair and guided around the hospital

He uses a mobility walker to get around in a later shot

He uses a mobility walker to get around in a later shot

The advert depicts Santa’s recovery as he’s helped gradually out of a wheelchair and guided around the hospital. He uses a mobility walker to get around in a later shot

In the final shot, the nurse who looked after him throughout receives a gift, with a note that reads: ‘Thank you for everything you’ve done for all of us,’ signed ‘Santa’ – and the true identity of her recent patient dawns on her. 

The advert was intended to celebrate NHS staff and volunteers who fought tirelessly on the coronavirus front lines during the pandemic. 

But viewers took to social media to slam its portrayal of Santa Claus.  

Ken Simpson-Hay wrote: ‘The NHS have now hijacked Santa and given him Covid to raise money for their charity. 

‘Someone thought this was a good idea. Guaranteed to scare the hell out of little ones if they watch it. 

Disgusting idea that targets the fears of the very young. Massive own goal.’ 

Linda added: Are you so deluded on your own hype you can’t see how disgusting this is NHS? Advert should be removed immediately.’ 

While he recuperates, he receives a get well soon card signed 'Rudy' - a nod to his reindeer Rudolph - and later is seen reading through letters addressed 'to Santa' along with a long list of names

While he recuperates, he receives a get well soon card signed 'Rudy' - a nod to his reindeer Rudolph - and later is seen reading through letters addressed 'to Santa' along with a long list of names

While he recuperates, he receives a get well soon card signed ‘Rudy’ – a nod to his reindeer Rudolph – and later is seen reading through letters addressed ‘to Santa’ along with a long list of names 

Andrea Hodgkinson simply wrote: Low, very low.’ 

Another Twitter user blasted the advert as a ‘miscalculation’ writing: ‘This is disgusting. Don’t children have enough to worry about at the moment?

‘What a dreadful, insensitive miscalculation on behalf of the NHS charity organisers.

‘How many children are going to be brought to tears thinking Santa’s going to die?’ 

Janet Bradley said: ‘Only psychopaths could do this to children just to manipulate their fear and conformity.’ 

Eventually he's allowed to go home, and he makes his way gingerly out of the hospital, turning to wave at the nurses who cared for him

Eventually he's allowed to go home, and he makes his way gingerly out of the hospital, turning to wave at the nurses who cared for him

Eventually he’s allowed to go home, and he makes his way gingerly out of the hospital, turning to wave at the nurses who cared for him

Kim Paterson urged the charity to ‘stop traumatising children’ and said: ‘Let them just enjoy Christmas and Santa Claus without giving them adult problems to deal with as well.’ 

NHS Charities supports staff across the UK. Captain Sir Tom Moore raised millions for the NHS at the height of the coronavirus pandemic by walking laps of his garden.

The advert was not funded by any of the money raised by Captain Tom. 

The advert, set to the track People Help The People by British singer Birdy, was posted as part of the Gifts That Give Back Campaign, where people are asked to send gifts to NHS staff after such a challenging year. 

Co-founder of Wonder Adventures in Lymm, Warrington, who is a Santa told The Daily Telegraph:  ‘Our angle on it has been that Santa would say because of his magic and wisdom he would be protected from Covid and would be at no risk to it, so children can still expect Christmas to go ahead as normal.

‘We thought that’s a much more positive message given that the whole story is a fantasy – why you would make Santa a victim of Covid is beyond me.

‘I feel like people are looking for reasons to make this Christmas worse rather than better – it’s bonkers.’

In the final shot, the nurse who looked after him throughout receives a gift, with a note that reads: 'Thank you for everything you've done for all of us,' signed 'Santa' - and the true identity of her recent patient dawns on her

In the final shot, the nurse who looked after him throughout receives a gift, with a note that reads: 'Thank you for everything you've done for all of us,' signed 'Santa' - and the true identity of her recent patient dawns on her

The tag is signed 'Santa'

The tag is signed 'Santa'

In the final shot, the nurse who looked after him throughout receives a gift, with a note that reads: ‘Thank you for everything you’ve done for all of us,’ signed ‘Santa’ – and the true identity of her recent patient dawns on her

In a social media post, the charity said: ‘We’re delighted to share our Christmas campaign and video, which has been made possible thanks to generous brand partners.

‘We adore the ad and dedicate it to all NHS workers who’ve given everything to care and keep us safe.’ 

CEO of NHS Charities Together, Ellie Norton said: ‘Hundreds of thousands of NHS staff will be working over Christmas and New Year. 

‘The public has responded magnificently so far to our appeal, helping us raise over £150million. But with the ongoing impact of Covid, the need is still there.’

NHS Charities give £1million a day to the NHS, providing vital funds to help the NHS do more. 

Through NHS Charities Together member charities collaborate on nationwide fundraising and advocacy campaigns, such as celebrating the NHS’s Birthday every year on 5th July with the NHS Big Tea. 

Link hienalouca.com

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