Who were these NHS heroes we clapped for every Thursday night? 

How did they cope with the pandemic, what are their stories and where are they now? 

Some of the answers can be found in this book by Carlisle GP Ellen Welch, co-chair of the Doctors’ Association UK. 

As well as dealing with the pandemic in general, the book contains personal stories of the front-line workers and how they coped. 

These include a frontline nurse who became a patient in her own ICU.

There is a story from a doctor working in the hastily built Nightingale Hospital and one of a nurse stuck on a cruise ship for seven months. 

Dr Welch suggests that the NHS ”heroes” rhetoric helped direct attention away from the fact that the Government didn’t act quickly enough. “Boris Johnson was quite blasé at first. He missed several COBRA  meetings and was slow to act – much slower than many other countries – and the death toll rose as a result - including among healthcare workers.”


She said the pandemic has left NHS staff burned out.  

“They have left in droves. Many have gone to other countries where the working conditions and pay is better.” 

She said GPs appear to be bearing the brunt of the media and the nation’s wrath now- despite being busier than ever. GPs are seeing one million patients every day across the UK but they have had to look at new ways of working since Covid, with more remote consulting, diminished staff and more demand.” 

Ellen Welch is the perfect author of this book with her worldwide perspective of the workings of health services. 

She spent 10 years as a cruise ship doctor and a season in New Zealand as a ski field medic. 

She returned to Cumbria in 2018 and had two young sons – enough to keep her grounded for the foreseeable future. 

Ellen Welch’s book, How the NHS Coped with Covid 19.

All proceeds from the book will go to the mental health charity MIND

It is available in most bookstores or at: https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/How-the-NHS-Coped-with-Covid-19-Paperback/p/21358

The Kindle edition of the book will be out at the end of next month at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0B5QTJL35/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1657911924&sr=8-1