Thursday #1 – ‘Resus is a high level PPE area’

The initiative to clap for carers officially came to a close last week – so I wanted to offer a gesture of support to everyone providing continued, dedicated service by publishing a picture on Thursdays at 8pm, the time we all came out to clap.

This image is a study drawing, made in oil pastel and ink, of doctors and nurses entering resus through the entrance doors, with printed signs – ‘Resus is a high level PPE area’.

All the issues around PPE in the UK brought to mind in a simple phrase.

With thanks to all who work on the frontline. Keep well 🌈

Resus is a high level PPE area, oil on pastel, 40cm x 40cm
‘Resus is a high level PPE area’

Hospital – 2

At the start of the Lockdown, the BBC were allowed to film the staff and patients at the Royal Free Hospital in London, a huge hospital that specialises in contagious diseases. The resulting footage was made into two special programmes called, ‘Hospital’ which were broadcast on Monday and Tuesday – Week 8 of Lockdown.  The drawings and paintings shown here are based on images from these films.

'It's so hot in there, we can't take a drink with our kit on' - Staff on ICU, BBC 2's 'Hospital' - Sketch 1

‘It’s so hot in there, we can’t take a drink with our kit on’ – Staff on ICU, BBC 2’s ‘Hospital’ – Sketch 1

This trio of images were from the first programme where the healthcare nurses were able to film in the ICU, wearing chest cameras.  This particular scene took place with the words of the staff explaining how difficult it was to work whilst wearing the essential PPE.  

The basic complaint was the overpowering heat. How impossible it was even to take a drink whilst wearing their kit.

Staff were hot, and stressed. 

'It's so hot in there, we can't take a drink with our kit on' - Staff on ICU, BBC 2's 'Hospital' Sketch 2

‘It’s so hot in there, we can’t take a drink with our kit on’ – Staff on ICU, BBC 2’s ‘Hospital’ Sketch 2

These words are on first sketch. The second sketch shows figures only, just trying to get them right.

The final piece, essentially a full painting with watercolour, ink and gouache, shows the ward’s water dispenser in the distance – literally and metaphorically a long way off.

'It's so hot in there, we can't take a drink with our kit on' - Staff on ICU, BBC 2's 'Hospital'

‘It’s so hot in there, we can’t take a drink with our kit on’ – Staff on ICU, BBC 2’s ‘Hospital’

These drawings and paintings are my inadequate but heartfelt tribute to all healthcare workers and carers, for the NHS and care homes. 

They are all, quite simply, brilliant.

Thank you.

Stay safe and stay well

Hospital

It’s hard to know where to begin… what a time it has been and will continue to be. Everything turned upside down. Tranquility where there was turmoil, confusion where there was certainty.

Royal Free Hospital – BBC 2

Every news bulletin brings a new story and a new facet to the crisis.

At the beginning of the year, my mum was admitted to Leicester Royal Infirmary and subsequently the Glenfield Hospital.

Hospital – Study sheet 1

A helpless observer at her bedside, I watched the staff at work, at first in the Intensive Care Unit and later the recovery wards.

Hospital – Study sheet 1 – Detail, with newborn

The ICU staff were remarkable, as they calmly and methodically went through the process to stabilise her condition and to move her to the next stage of her recovery – which indeed they did.

Their work undertaken with great kindness, patience and gentle humour. Wonderful, lovely people and tender in years to my old eyes.

Hospital – Study sheet 1 – Detail

Sitting as a helpless observer, I felt my instinct to capture them working with my pen and watercolours. I couldn’t help myself… in my head I followed the lines, the colours and movement.

Of course it wasn’t possible, but the image of the doctors and nurses working together has been with me ever since.

Hospital – Study sheet 2

At the start of the Lockdown, the BBC made two programmes about the Royal Free Hospital in London, a huge hospital that specialises in contagious diseases.

Hospital – Study sheet 2 – Detail, Patient coming

The programmes follow members of staff and patients through the early days of the disease. The staff show the exact same qualities that I experienced with my mum at Leicester.

The programmes were shown this week. I began to draw and then cry as all the memories flooded back. I am still a helpless observer waiting and watching as they work so hard. I guess we all are.

Hospital – Study sheet 2 – Detail

The one thing I can do, we all can do is say ‘Thank you’ and pay tribute as much as we can.

Hospital, BBC 2 – Locking the cupboard

These are my drawings based on the programme as a small tribute to all healthcare workers and carers, who are just brilliant. Thank you!

Stay safe and stay well