Inside the Whittington Hospital during Covid-19
Stories from some of the incredible staff working at the Whittington Hospital during the first wave of Covid-19 are revealed in a new Kickstarter book that launches today (Tuesday 24 November).
Photographer Slater King spent 10 days at the Whittington in June, taking photos and interviewing front-line staff about their experiences, all of which has gone into a book.
“This book is testament to their amazing skill, care and dedication – and shows their compassion and kindness in such difficult times,” he says. “We hear about their incredible trials and tribulations, their fears and worries, and how they kept working despite knowing that they were placing themselves and their families in such grave danger.”
Mumtaz Mooncey, Paediatric Doctor
The book features 91 staff members, from ITU (intensive therapy unit) nurses, consultants, junior doctors, healthcare assistants, and pharmacists, to students just out of college, porters, psychologists, scientists, speech therapists, receptionists, physiotherapists, and midwives. All royalties are going back to the hospital’s charity and have been ring-fenced for staff to pay for things to improve their working lives. But without public support, it will be cancelled.
Slater came up with the idea after watching news reports with images inside Italian hospitals.
“When it got to the UK, it seemed to me no-one was in the hospital, all that footage dried up,” he says. “It struck me that no-one was documenting what was happening and what life was like for people working in British hospitals. The feeling that a photographer should be there grew and grew. I felt it was my job.”
Cleveland Shaw, DTC Endoscopy
He got the go ahead from the Whittington, his local hospital that he has come to know well over the years visiting the A&E with his children.
“It was quite scary going in. I remember thinking the night before, should I call in sick on this,” he admits. “At the time it was lockdown and it was like a zombie film – the streets were deserted and everyone was talking about Covid the silent killer. I felt like I was walking straight into the centre of it, going inside the hospital.
Champa Jetha, Acute Therapy Technician
“The funny thing is that after spending time in the Whittington, it had a calming effect on me. It became a consolation that so many talented, kind, hard-working, caring people, were trying to save lives.
“The take away for me is that there are many people, who are so dedicated and put themselves in danger to look after everyone else.”
Can you support the project? Find out more on Slater’s website.