Hospital Special: Fighting Covid

Rating 9.2
Streamer BBC iPlayer
Seasons 6
Episodes 38 x 60 mins

Filmed inside London’s Royal Free and Barnet Hospitals, this two-parter really is a glimpse of the front-line of the war against Covid-19.

Rachel Cooke in The New Statesmen praises the patients in Hospital: “For those of us who’ve been lucky, the pandemic has sometimes seemed rather distant, even a little abstract; it has gone on elsewhere. You, though, made it suddenly and intensely real.” Cooke thinks the two films “should win all the prizes, and everyone in Britain should have to watch them, by law… I learned more about both the strain on the NHS and its staff, and about the virus itself, than I’ve done from any amount of reading or TV news.”

In The Telegraph Anita Singh says “Hospital is one of the BBC’s best documentary strands and this [first] episode was excellent, providing a detailed picture of how the NHS is coping with an unprecedented situation.” The series’ distinctiveness, she says, is that it shows patients, staff and management in equal light: “If there is such a thing as compassion fatigue, this programme did not engender it. I willed these patients to come through, and shed a tear when they did.”

Camilla Long in The Sunday Times praises this Hospital special as “an outstanding and inventive programme, in which the crews finagled ways to film inside ICUs, by strapping body cameras to the nurses’ chests, or filming from behind masks or through the portholes of doors… It was the best hour of telly this week.”

Must TV has always rated the Hospital series, but the arrival of Covid-19 has given it more urgency, more relevance indeed, than any of us could have imagined just a couple of months ago. This is a true must watch.

First shown May 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.

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