In Pictures: NHS staff on the front line in fight against Covid-19

PA Reporter
·2-min read

Much has been made of the role of NHS workers risking their lives in the battle against coronavirus during the pandemic.

But how much do we actually know about the day-to-day struggles faced by hospital staff battling exhaustion, low morale and increasing patient numbers as the mutated strain of Covid-19 threatens to overwhelm the NHS this winter?

The PA news agency has been allowed a glimpse behind the curtain at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London, and captured the ongoing war against the virus in pictures.

Staff nurses work in the corridor in the Acute Dependency Unit
Staff nurses work in the corridor in the Acute Dependency Unit (Victoria Jones/PA)
A nurse works on a patient in the Intensive Care Unit
A nurse works on a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (Victoria Jones/PA)
A nurse monitors the progress of patients on a computer
A nurse monitors the progress of patients on a computer in the ICU (Victoria Jones/PA)

The number of intensive care beds for the critically sick has had to be increased from 60 to 120 in the Intensive Care Unit at St George’s. The vast majority of them are for coronavirus patients.

A staff nurse puts on PPE in the corridor
A staff nurse puts on PPE in the corridor (Victoria Jones/PA)
Medical staff transfer a patient from the Acute Dependency Unit to the ICU
Medical staff transfer a patient from the Acute Dependency Unit to the ICU (Victoria Jones/PA)
A staff nurse walks through the Acute Dependency Unit after taking food to a patient
A staff nurse walks through the Acute Dependency Unit after taking food to a patient (Victoria Jones/PA)

Morale among staff is reported to be low, with some workers feeling “demotivated and demoralised” as the virus tightens its grip.

Staff nurses talk in the corridor of the Emergency Department
Staff nurses talk in the corridor of the Emergency Department (Victoria Jones/PA)
A staff nurse tends to a patient in the Emergency Department
A staff nurse tends to a patient in the Emergency Department (Victoria Jones/PA)
Patient Peter Watts, 64, being cared for in the Emergency Department
Patient Peter Watts, 64, being cared for in the Emergency Department (Victoria Jones/PA)

Many patients have coronavirus but plenty are still coming in with other issues. The workload is intense and there is little opportunity for respite.

A consultant takes a moment to use his phone in the corridor of the ICU
A consultant takes a moment to use his phone in the corridor of the ICU (Victoria Jones/PA)
Staff members work at a desk in the ICU
Staff members work at a desk in the ICU (Victoria Jones/PA)
A nurse writes-up notes on a patient
A nurse writes-up notes on a patient (Victoria Jones/PA)

At this critical moment in the fight against Covid-19, our NHS staff are being pushed to the limit.