Viewers Are Furious After Watching Ross Kemp's Doc On NHS Coronavirus Workers
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Featured Image Credit: ITV
The filmmaker's ITV documentary Ross Kemp: On the NHS Frontline, which aired on Thursday, is facing criticism online after the crew gained access to a hospital while family members were unable to visit their loved ones.
In the documentary, Ross visits Milton Keynes Hospital, where staff are working tirelessly to care for patients suffering from coronavirus. In the eyeopening watch, the filmmaker speaks to frontline staff, patients, and workers in the hospital's intensive care unit.
Despite the documentary receiving some praise for shining a light on the incredible work being done by NHS staff, other were left angry.
"I like Ross Kemp, I really do, but what the f*ck does he think he's playing at getting in the way of staff trying to do a job in the frontline of the NHS? We know how bad it is, you don't need to make a nuisance of yourself to show it. They're under enough pressure as it is!," fumed one person on Twitter.
"Im sure the #RossKemp documentary was meant in good faith and to show the hard work being done by our NHS but to show patients dying during a time where their families are not able to see them seems very distasteful. Did no one involved take this into consideration?," viewed another.
"Imagine having a family member in ICU that you can't see; whilst Ross Kemp can!," said a third, while another added: "Mad how Ross Kemp and ITV thinks it's an appropriate time to document suffering NHS staff and patients."
When news of the one-off doc was announced, some viewers even refused to watch it and urged others to do the same.
At the time of filming, some hospitals were banning family members from seeing their gravely ill relatives due to fears of spreading the virus.
This is something which will now be changed, thanks to new government measures allowing families to be with their dying loved ones, announced on Wednesday.
Health Minister Matt Hancock said that with the help of Public Health England, the government is "introducing new procedures so we can limit the risk of infection while wherever possible giving people's closest loved ones the chance to say goodbye."
In response to the controversy, ITV told Tyla: "Controlled access has been carefully agreed with the hospital to allow viewers an insight into the work that is happening now on the frontline of the NHS. The intention of this documentary is to highlight the work of our frontline workers at a more immersive level that enriches what can be offered within daily news bulletins.
"The production was given access to ICU in agreement with staff and patients to help document the incredible work of the NHS frontline. The production team and journalists involved are scrupulously adhering to guidelines whilst filming and staff at the hospital want to remind viewers of the impact of this virus and emphasise the importance of staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives."
Milton Keynes University Hospital also issued a statement. In it, they said: "There is a lot of anxiety and confusion both about the NHS' ability to meet the pressures of COVID-19 and the type of care that is being offered to those that have the virus.
"After discussions with NHS England, we believed it was important to give a mainstream media outlet controlled access to the hospital so that the public could be informed and reassured about the response of hospitals to COVID-19.
"[...] Allowing access to a crew of maximum four people was fully risk assessed and we have carried out all Infection Prevention Control and PPE measures to ensure their presence at the hospital for a limited time presents no increased risk to patients or staff.
"Milton Keynes University Hospital are still allowing certain types of visiting, including partners of patients in Maternity and for patients at the end of their life where it is both safe and appropriate."
While there was criticism about the ethics of the documentary, there was also a lot of praise for the way it showed the tireless efforts of our health heroes.
"Currently sat here watching the Ross Kemp documentary on the frontline showing the amazing work done by NHS staff @MKHospital and around the country with the limited resources on offer. The decisions they're having to make is truly horrendous!," one viewer said.
"Genuinely in awe at our NHS, so calm and collected. Anyone who isn't taking the virus seriously should be shown this programme and the ICU," said another.
A third interjected: "A lot of hate for Ross Kemp about the doc but this exactly what people need to see to show the severity and situation we're in. Everyone wants to clap for the nhs workers every week but don't actually want to see what goes into caring for Covid19 patients???"
Ross Kemp: On the NHS Frontline is available to watch on ITV Hub now.