There has been no such thing as normal on the COVID front line recently. Rotas, roles and routines were jettisoned to meet the tidal wave head on.
For a time, at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital almost everyone was redeployed.
Surgeons proned COVID patients on ventilators, consultants did tea rounds and bed baths, military personnel mucked in. Cruise-liner staff on furlough administered hand sanitiser and face masks at the entrance.
And, for consultant gastroenterologist Raymond McCrudden, it’s been important to capture this extraordinary moment – to record for posterity what the NHS has gone through and what its people are made of.
Watch a video compilation of images taken at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, narrated by Dr McCrudden
At the peak of the second wave, hospital managers asked Dr McCrudden, a keen photographer, to take up his Nikon.
In snatched moments after work and on his days off, Dr McCrudden documented it all: the teamwork and frustration, the compassion, grief and exhaustion, the mundane and the mortuary.
‘Even before this second wave, the workforce were on their knees,’ says Dr McCrudden. ‘People outside need to know that the people I work with are inspirational…
‘When I asked colleagues if I could come and take photos, they said, “We want you to cover this”. ‘This is a moment in history and we need to record it.’
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