Ross Kemp will join frontline NHS staff treating patients with coronavirus in a hospital that is ‘on a war footing’ in his new two-part documentary which begins tonight.
The former EastEnders star, 55, will enter the ‘warzone’ intensive care unit at Milton Keynes University Hospital Trust for his two-part show Ross Kemp: On the NHS Frontline on ITV.
The show, which will offer viewers a glimpse of how health workers on the frontline are dealing with the pandemic, will see the actor suited up in protective equipment, which he later confirmed would be replaced by the production team, as he goes inside a Covid-19 ward.
The show comes as the UK continues to control the spread of the deadly virus which has now claimed the lives of 13,729 people.
Ross Kemp will join frontline NHS staff treating patients with coronavirus for his two-part show Ross Kemp: On the NHS Frontline on ITV tonight
The 55-year-old actor will offer viewers a glimpse of how doctors and nurses on the frontline are dealing with the pandemic as he goes behind the scenes at an ICU ward at Milton Keynes University Hospital Trust
The show will see the actor enter a hospital ward treating patients who have contracted Covid-19
During the show, the actor will speak with health workers at the hospital and listen to the heart-rending decisions they have been left making on a day-to-say basis.
In one scene, the actor will speak with medical director Dr Ian Reckless, who explains the hospital, which has now treated 340 Covid-19 patients, has only 20 ventilators which are are all in use.
Dr Reckless tells the actor: ‘Imagine the situation where we have 20 ventilators and all of them are in use. We’ve got no more ventilators, we phone around other hospitals and they’ve got no more ventilators either.
‘We have to make a decision for the next person coming into the hospital, who we haven’t met yet. Of the 20 patients currently on ventilators, who are the two or three patients who, to be completely honest, aren’t making any progress.
‘They’re getting worse, not better. They aren’t going to survive. And in some circumstances we may have to withdraw treatment on that basis. That’s not something we’ve done in the UK. Ever.’
The show, which will air tonight at 8.30pm, will also see the actor speak with Dr Hamid Manji, a consultant anaesthetist at Milton Keynes Hospital, who tells the actor he has been working 12 hour shifts in the intensive care unit and compares it to a ‘warzone’.
During the show, the actor will speak with Dr Hamid Manji, a consultant anaesthetist at Milton Keynes Hospital
The doctor tells the actor he has been working 12 hour shifts in the intensive care unit and compares it to a ‘warzone’
He tells Kemp: ‘We’ve become a hospital that is effectively on a war footing, the reality is this fee ls like a war zone and a Field hospital.’
He adds: ‘That’s a very key message. The isolation, the staying at home, the not giving it to other people, be it your neighbour or someone at work or somebody in a supermarket, keep your distance, if you don’t need to go out, don’t go out. We in the UK are still in an upward trajectory.
‘We need to change that as they have done in some other parts of the world and they’ve done it with really strict rules. So, although I don’t want to be a disciplinarian about it, genuinely, it saves lives to isolate and to stay at home.’
Dr Manji, who has also suffered from the coronavirus himself, goes on to tell the star that while many of the patients he has been treating have been elderly, he has been seeing an increasingly number of people in their 30s also being admitted to intensive care.
The former EastEnders actor will speak to doctors and nurses fighting the pandemic on the frontline
He told the star: ‘The other bit I would just like to say to the people out there that are listening, it’s young people we are seeing on the intensive care unit. It’s not that you have to be ill or that you have to be old. They are obviously suffering more.
‘But young people are suffering with no illnesses in the past and suffering in a way I have never seen before. They are critically, critically unwell and some of them are sadly not surviving this. So the message, without being too dramatic, please stay at home, please isolate because it’s saving lives. Not just your own, but the lives of the people around you.’
The show, which will air tonight, comes a week after the 55-year-old actor came under fire for sharing a picture of himself wearing a PPE mask inside the intensive care unit at Milton Keynes Hospital.
However, on Thursday’s episode of Good Morning Britain, Kemp was quick to explain that the documentary had been made to help worried Britons whilst highlighting the incredible work undertaken by NHS staff.
Speaking to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, the actor said: ‘It’s not just inside the intensive care it’s about across the board.
‘In terms of PPE (personal protective equipment) we used one set and at no point were we draining resources.
‘There was just me and one camera man, we were only there for a short time, maybe half an hour…
The show will see Kemp listen to a doctor tell him that he has been seeing an increasingly number of people in their 30s also being admitted to intensive care
‘What had a massive impact on me was the care and love for the patients from the staff. The film is to show how the staff are helping people… and it’s also to tell us what they are concerned about.’
The former EastEnders actor went on to reveal that the hospital staff had fully supported and backed the show, in the hopes that it would show the country the fight they were tackling in the wards.
He relayed: ‘The concerns are people outside are unknowledgeable of what’s going on outside the hospital. That was the point of the film, to see what it’s like there.’
A statement by Milton Keynes Hospital read: ‘At a time when there is anxiety nationally about the spread of COVID-19 and the NHS’ ability to respond to the pressures the virus will bring, we felt it was important to give a true account on the work being done in hospitals and in community settings, and the measures being taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
‘We hope that the programme will help to reinforce the message that it is important for members of the public to stay at home and protect the NHS.
‘We also hope that it will help to illustrate that hospitals and communities are still running business as usual in certain services, including maternity and emergency departments, up and down the country and that the NHS and other care organisations are there to help people that need it for non-COVID-19 related issues
The hospital also explained that the film crew would be replacing any PPE stock they had used used.