Hospital Special: Fighting Covid-19 – when is it on TV? What will it show?

The cameras will take us to the frontline in the battle against the pandemic

Programme Name: Hospital - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 6) - Picture Shows:  Bronek Boszczyk - (C) Ryan McNamara - Photographer: Ryan McNamara

Whether you’re clapping on your doorstep at 8pm every Thursday, or tuning into daily press conferences and charity telethons, we are all aware of the sacrifices being made by Britain’s medical staff and care workers during this pandemic.

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But thankfully most of us have never been in the position to see their hard work up close.

Now a two-part documentary, Hospital Special: Fighting Covid-19, will takes us onto the wards to see the incredible, life-saving work of our doctors and nurses with our own eyes. But what will the two episodes show us?

When is Hospital Special: Fighting Covid-19 on TV?

The two episodes will air on BBC2 on Monday and Tuesday night at 9pm.

Is this connected to the BBC series Hospital?

Yes, these two episodes follow five series of Hospital, a critically acclaimed BBC fly on the wall series that has taken us behind the scenes in different hospitals across the country.

What will the episodes show?

These two episodes were shot at the Royal Free Hospital and Barnet Hospital, both in London, and will reveal how staff and hospital procedures have been forced to adapt to the current outbreak. It will also show the realities of coping with coronavirus and providing treatment in testing circumstances.

Matron Sinead Hanton, who is filmed as part of the programme, tells Radio Times that the staff fully supported the series. “We welcomed the cameras in, we wanted to show what goes on inside the hospital.”

She also hopes the eye-opening episodes will play a vital roles in reminding viewers of the importance of social distancing. “You see people still going to parks and that is very upsetting. Once this programme has aired, I think it will show people how important it is to distance themselves. It’s really stressful for the staff and upsetting to see what is happening to our patients and it’s really important to get the message out.”

How was the series filmed?

Camera crews turned up in the very early stages of lockdown and captured what was happening as the hospitals became inundated with Covid-19 patients. But the programme’s executive producer Jackie Waldock told Radio Times that very strict protocols were agreed with the hospital, to ensure the filming process didn’t interfere with patient care.

“My crews didn’t go into areas where full personal protective equipment [PPE] was needed, because we didn’t feel it was appropriate to use the hospital’s equipment,” she said. “We filmed outside the clinical areas and then, when we wanted to go in, we gave a couple of the clinicians a Go Pro camera and they would film specific patients for us. We never asked them to stop working and we didn’t get in the way.”

Will there be more episodes?

The hospitals are currently in talks with the BBC to film another series, to monitor the ongoing impact of the pandemic as lockdown begins to ease. So watch this space.

Hospital Special: Fighting Covid-19 airs on BBC2 Monday and Tuesday evening at 9pm on BBC1. To find out what else is on, check out our TV Guide.

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The full interview is available in the new Radio Times magazine, out Tuesday 12th May.