The Documentary: On The Covid Ward

Frontline medical teams in the UK have fine-tuned the physical treatment of severely ill Covid patients. But one thing that has gone largely unnoticed is their efforts to help those patients – often on ventilators for weeks – keep up the will to live, and enable their families to stay connected with these patients.

We hear from Dave Collins, who had to say goodbye to his family via Zoom before being put on a ventilator; Paul Twose, a physiotherapist working in critical care, who uses an “About Me” list to make sure that an unconscious patient is treated as an individual; Dr Niki Snook, a consultant in intensive care, who always treats unconscious patients as if they can hear and reads out messages from family members to them; and Tariq Butt, one of Niki’s patients, who was unconscious for 12 weeks.

We also witness a reunion between Rehanah Sadiq, a Muslim hospital chaplain, and Sarah Niyazi, whose husband Arif died of Covid-19 in the early weeks of the pandemic. Together they recall how Rehanah created a special Covid-compliant ritual for Sarah and Arif to replace the normal Islamic washing of the body after death.

Radio Times made it Pick of the Week.


Listen here:

Incredibly humbling... shows human beings at their very weakest and their very best

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, Pick of the Week
TX: 13th November 2021
Producers: Caroline Donne and Kristine Pommert