Behind The Mask, COVID-19, published by Graffeg

A unique and personal insight into the NHS response to COVID-19 from those on the frontline

Photographs by Glenn Dene
Words by Dr. Ami Jones MBE
Publication 4 June 2020

‘It felt like the videos you see of what happens just before a tsunami hits; when the tide goes out, the sea disappears and everything goes eerily quiet. The public were on lockdown and although we’d had a trickle of patients enter the hospital, with elective operating ceased and most people ‘scared’ to attend, the hospital entered a rare phase of quiet and calm. We wondered if the wave would ever hit us. We didn’t want it to as we’d seen the pictures from Italy of how badly their hospitals had been smashed, but equally we were poised, trained and ready to give our best if it hit, when it hit. And it hit.’

Nestled in the quiet market town of Abergavenny sits Nevill Hall district general hospital. This is the story, in words and pictures, of how its dedicated team of professional staff, with their eight-bed Intensive Care Unit and a posse of willing recruits, faced up to the challenge of COVID-19. With photographs by Operating Department Practitioner Glenn Dene and words by Dr Ami Jones MBE ITU Consultant and the staff of the hospital, this book celebrates the remarkable team that came together to serve their community. From professional challenges to personal fears, all is revealed as the staff of Nevill Hall invite you to meet the people who donned their masks to help.

This book is produced with the kind permission and support of Nevill Hall Hospital and the NHS. All royalties in aid of NHS Charities including Wales Air Ambulance.

‘I feel proud. Proud of my team. How they’ve been allocated to areas without question or strife. I’m proud of my family who have moved out and not seen their wife or mother for six weeks, allowing me to give all my time to the NHS. I’m proud of the public for helping us in any way they can. I’m proud of the ‘Village’ Hospital that has faced Coronavirus head on.’ Laura Kingscott, Theatre Sister

‘A feeling of responsibility I have never faced before. Holding a patient’s hand and willing them to live for the sake of their poor family who can’t be with them will live with me forever.’ Louise, ITU Nurse

Behind The Mask, COVID-19, published by Graffeg
Behind The Mask, COVID-19, published by Graffeg