"We are doing what we love to do" - staff tell the BBC 

08/04/2020 00:00 
Our amazing staff featured on BBC News again last night (Tuesday) in a second report by medical correspondent Fergus Walsh about our response to COVID-19.

Our amazing staff featured on BBC News again last night (Tuesday) in a second report by medical correspondent Fergus Walsh about our response to COVID-19.

The piece began with a 37-year-old patient on one of our COVID-19 wards, T9. The father-of-two urged the public to take the disease seriously and to follow the government guidance to stay at home.

“I didn’t take the outbreak seriously at first,” he said. “You don’t know how bad the disease is until it hits you. I have felt times when my body has been willing to give up completely and I am a young and fit individual.”

Fergus also interviewed our chief executive Professor Marcel Levi outside of our emergency department where he works as an acute medicine doctor.

“I do worry about my staff because they are being exposed to patients with a dangerous disease,” he said.

“I am a doctor myself and I work in A&E with coronavirus patients. I am also anxious but on the other hand we are all professionals, we know how to protect ourselves. We know the risk so we can deal with it.”

In unseen footage, Marcel also told Fergus: “I am immensely proud of all my staff. I know many of them are, understandably, extremely worried and I am here to support them. But we are professionals, we are the NHS, we can do this.”

The report talks about how UCLH has been reconfigured to care for large numbers of COVID-19 patients. Dr David Howell, divisional clinical director for critical care spoke to Fergus about the importance of having the right levels of staffing, kit and oxygen.

Dr Jim Down and matron Elaine Thorpe, who were the stars of Monday night’s news report about our intensive care unit, featured again in last night’s piece.

In a report for BBC Breakfast, Dympna Mangan who is a matron of one of our COVID-19 wards, said that most of the patients she has been caring for have been older but there have also been those in their thirties as well.

Critical care research nurse Debbie Smyth also featured on BBC Breakfast. She thanked local businesses for the generous food donations they have been making to the hospital.

“You have really helped keep morale up,” she said. “We are doing what we love to do – look after people, so thank you very much.”

In a poignant end to his piece last night, Fergus said: “The whole country knows it owes an immense debt to NHS frontline staff who are putting themselves at risk from coronavirus day after day to save lives.”

Here is Tuesday night’s report:

Further BBC coverage is available through the following links:

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