Norwich doctor's video diary of life in A&E during the pandemic

Dr Amber Woodcock, an emergency doctor at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, recorded a video diary of her shift.

Dr Amber Woodcock, an emergency doctor at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, recorded a video diary of her shift. - Credit: NNUH

An emergency doctor has opened up in a video diary about the pressures still facing frontline staff as coronavirus cases and admissions begin to fall.

Dr Amber Woodcock, 35, who has worked as an emergency doctor at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) for seven years, told of the apprehension faced by staff working in the naturally unpredictable accident and emergency department. 

Following record number of Covid patients in January, the county's hospitals are beginning to see fewer coronavirus patients, but the doctor said there was anxiety it could go back to square one if people became slack and did not follow the rules.

Dr Amber Woodcock, shows the lateral flow test she and her colleagues take before going to work at the Norfolk and Norwich...

Dr Amber Woodcock, shows the lateral flow test she and her colleagues take before going to work at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: NNUH

She said she did not want people to think just because numbers were falling things were fine at the hospital.

"It's not. We're still really pushed for beds, patients still have really long waits to be seen because the pressure is so high at the moment.

"There are so many patients still with Covid in the hospital requiring long term care when you get admitted with Covid, it's not just a quick admission, sometimes patients are in for three, four weeks, even longer until their lungs have recovered and they are fit enough to go home again. 

"We really need everyone to follow the rules and the numbers to go down really low so that we can offer the best service to everyone in the NHS and we can protect our families, our friends and our colleagues."

Arriving at work, she puts on her scrubs, personal protective equipment including a mask, apron, gloves and a visor to treat patients, including a number that were Covid positive.

Dr Amber Woodcock, putting on her PPE at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Dr Amber Woodcock, putting on her PPE at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: NNUH

Dr Amber Woodcock, putting on her PPE at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Dr Amber Woodcock, putting on her PPE at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: NNUH

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The video was filmed as staff mourned the loss of their colleague Estrella Catalan, with Dr Woodcock detailing the mental strain on grieving staff continuing to treat patients.

Dr Woodcock, who is from Old Buckenham, said: "It was palpable in the air the staff just trying to get on and give the best care to everyone and still have good morale despite that awful news that they have had today.

Dr Amber Woodcock, during her break talks about what has happened on the shift at the Norfolk and Norwich University...

Dr Amber Woodcock, during her break talks about what has happened on the shift at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: NNUH

In the video Dr Amber Woodcock, an emergency doctor at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, talks about her shift...

In the video Dr Amber Woodcock, an emergency doctor at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, talks about her shift and the difficulties facing staff. - Credit: NNUH

"It's really mentally and physically draining at the moment I think for everyone and today especially showed that but despite that everyone is just amazing, we carry on, we work really hard and we support each other. At the moment that is what is getting everyone through at such an incredibly difficult time."


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