The Fight of Our Lives: The NHS Front Line and the Covid-19 Crisis
Date: January 2021
Duration: 6 hours 10 minutes
Go behind the scenes on the Covid wards of one of Britain's busiest hospitals, Bradford Royal Infirmary
2020 will forever be remembered as the year of coronavirus, but it's easy to forget the shock, fear and confusion that pervaded Britain as the pandemic first hit. In this exceptional radio series, senior NHS doctor and epidemiologist Professor John Wright takes us back to those crucial early days, giving us a first-hand account of one hospital's fight against COVID-19 and providing an invaluable oral history of this unique historical moment.
Beginning on March 16th, the day the Prime Minister gave his first TV address about coronavirus and a week before the UK locked down, Wright and his front-line staff recorded the crisis that was happening in front of their eyes. In these 10 episodes, we listen to the pandemic unfold in real time as NHS doctors, nurses, managers and cleaners unite in a battle to save lives.
We join them on the ground as they dash to find beds; make tough decisions about which patients receive ventilators; deal with the lack of testing and shortages of PPE; and are forced to tell families they can't visit their dying loved ones. And as increasing numbers of patients arrive on the Covid wards, those caring for them must face the very real threat of catching the virus themselves.
Introduced and presented by Winifred Robinson, this extraordinary audio diary chronicles the amazing work being done by everyday NHS heroes, the sacrifices they routinely make and their willingness to go the extra mile in the face of an unprecedented emergency.
Recorded by Professor John Wright with the staff and patients of Bradford Royal Infirmary
Presented by Winifred Robinson
Produced by Sue Mitchell
Sound production by Richard Hannaford
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 26 March-26 May 2020 as The NHS Front Line