Doctors, paramedics, nurses, psychologists, virologists and support staff have contributed to the Hands Across the NHS project – photographing their hands and videoing their work amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Filmmakers Jonathan Beamish, Angelique Arnold and Victoria Bolstridge worked remotely on the fundraiser for NHS Charities Together.
Here is a selection of photos from the series, with comments from the contributors.
Dr Alexander Kumar, NHS Nightingale Hospital London
“I’m not sure how many hands came together to build the Nightingale hospital – but when it did open, it was just brilliance and hope in a time of darkness.”
Emergency medicine and pre-hospital care consultant Dr Alison Sanders, London air ambulance
“The most challenging thing about that day was seeing the psychological and social impact of this pandemic played out.”
Acute medicine nurse Sara Danesin, Royal Free Hospital, London
“In the Covid-19 isolation ward at the Royal Free Hospital, the days are very long.
“The feeling is of intense heat, claustrophobia, and it’s a challenging time for everyone.”
Obstetrics doctor Alice Beardmore-Gray, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, London
“The photo shows me holding one of the babies we delivered that night, as the mum recovered.
“In that moment, I felt exhausted but was enjoying the cuddle in amidst the chaos of a busy labour ward.
“So I guess I felt happy.
“It’s moments like this which remind us how lucky we are to do the job that we do.
“This night shift was particularly busy, with several emergency Caesarean sections.
“I think it must be especially hard for women giving birth at the moment, as partners aren’t allowed in the operating theatre because of Covid-19.
“We’ve been using video calls to make sure they can still feel involved in the moment their baby is born.”
Intensive care unit nurse Joan Pons Laplana, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
“[The photo shows me] at the beginning of my shift.
“And I was anxious about what I was going to find out behind the door.
“Had any of my patients got better or worse?
“[That day,] I was taking care of a work colleague.
“That made me realise that I could be next, lying on that bed fighting for my life.
“[I would tell the public to] stay at home.
“It’s the easiest way to save lives and stop the spreading of this nasty virus.”
Senior biomedical scientist Patrick Simms, Weston General Hospital, Somerset
“In the image, I am processing a positive Covid-19 patient’s blood, performing quantitative analysis of various biological markers present in the patient’s serum.
“This can give an indication to the clinical team of the severity of illness, allowing them to make effective treatment pathway plans for the patient and ensure they receive the best care possible.
“Pictured is just one of the 1,000 samples we process every day in Weston General biochemistry.”
High-dependency patient carer Steven Male, West Midlands Ambulance Service
“[On the day this picture was taken,] I was actually feeling quite positive and hopeful.
“I have been amazed at the amount of people who have stepped up during this crisis to help others and volunteer for all sorts of things, often putting themselves at risk.”
Senior staff nurse Dawn Trigg, Edenbridge War Memorial Hospital, Kent
“[My biggest challenge is] the workload and not being able to answer a call bell quickly, due to having to put on gloves apron and mask before entering the room.
“My most gratifying moments are getting the workload done as a team, working together and laughing a lot.
“I’m very lucky to work with such lovely people across the whole board, from cleaners to kitchen staff to the nursing and multidisciplinary team.
“Be grateful for the good things in life, pick your battles wisely, and always tell your friends and family you love them.”
All photos are subject to copyright.