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Ross Kemp: On the NHS Frontline

Duration: 2 x 30'

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With unprecedented access to the NHS Intensive Care Units, Ross Kemp follows frontline medical staff as they face the full force of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In this candid two part documentary, Kemp shows first-hand how medical staff are coping with this difficult, challenging and unprecedented fight on the frontline of Covid-19. He witnesses the sacrifices staff and their families are making in their battle against the disease, and the journey of patients who initially admitted into the respiratory ward with mild symptoms are suddenly fighting for their lives in the ICU's. 

Whilst the documentary highlights some very poignant moments, there are still moments of elation and relief. Ross meets George, one of the first Covid patients to be released, with a full guard of honour by applauding staff, from the hospital. 

Throughout the programme, Ross is overcome by the superhuman efforts made by staff to save lives of the patients who come through their doors. “NHS staff here are not only highly organised, incredibly professional but they care, they really care about the people they are looking after and that is the most overwhelming feeling,” he says.

Fitted with a mask, gown and gloves, Ross visits an intensive care ward, where those with the most severe symptoms of coronavirus are fighting for their lives. There, 63-year-old retired police officer Paul Breeze requests to be filmed at a critical crossroad. Mr Breeze is on an oxygen machine but if his ability to breathe on his own continues to deteriorate he will likely be sedated and have a breathing tube inserted directly into his lungs. He asked to be filmed in the hope that viewers would be able to see quite how serious the virus can affect some people who catch it and, sadly, when Kemp revisits the hospital, he discovers that Paul Breeze has passed away. 

Ross is led through the ward by Dr Hamid Manji, a Consultant Anaesthetist, who himself has suffered suffered from coronavirus. Even at this stage of the pandemic, and with the hospital’s patients representing just a fraction of the number he is expecting to tend to in the coming weeks, Dr Manji explains that he is working 12 hour shifts for the first time in 30 years and that “The reality is this feels like a war zone and a Field hospital". 

For ITV

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