Following staff and patients at Royal Free London. As the pandemic approaches its peak, ten per cent of the workforce are sick or self-isolating, and it is a challenge to provide safe staffing levels.
Filmed inside the NHS from the first day of the lockdown - while we stayed at home, staff on the frontline went to work. Award-winning Hospital follows the human stories behind the headlines, of staff and patients alike as they grapple with the extraordinary challenge of Covid-19, with access to the Royal Free London, a world leader in the treatment of infectious diseases.
The pandemic is approaching its peak and most of the Royal Free London’s beds are now filled with coronavirus patients. But with ten per cent of the workforce off sick or self-isolating, it is challenging to provide safe staffing levels. And the 50-year-old Royal Free Hospital building is facing a potentially catastrophic breakdown of the oxygen supply as the maximum flow capacity is pushed to its limits.
The renal unit is caring for some of the patients who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 – those on regular dialysis or who have had a transplant. Hussein, a 48-year-old father of three, had the last kidney transplant before the hospital halted the transplant service because its patients were among those most at risk. He is now Covid-positive and struggling to breathe.
Barnet Hospital looks after, among others, the oldest population of any London borough. Stanley, aged 73, has been in the hospital for three weeks with Covid-19 symptoms. Consultant physician David Levy is looking after him and is concerned that he is on the maximum oxygen that can be given on the ward but making little progress. Stanley’s wife Sonia is at home, facing her first Passover alone after 48 years of marriage.
Desperate to find medication to treat the virus, infectious diseases consultant Sanjay Bhagani starts a trial of an anti-viral drug that was used in the treatment of Ebola, commenting ‘this is the most severe experience I’ve ever had in the NHS... This is a once in a lifetime’.
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