A MIDDLESBROUGH GP is helping to shine a light on NHS heroes from Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole to modern day medics serving on the front-line against Coronavirus.
Dr Vaishali Nanda, of The Discovery Practice, Middlesbrough, is to appear in a new online documentary to highlight the work of medical staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The documentary, directed by Newcastle based choreographer Eliot Smith, will feature music by award-winning composer Adam Johnson, artwork by North Durham artist Bernadette Koranteng and poetry from Seaton Sluice Primary School alongside interviews with NHS medical personnel – all intertwined with contemporary dance performances.
“It’s been so inspiring for me to hear the real life stories from some of our NHS heroes, said Eliot.
“Similar to the experiences of Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale, this documentary will highlight how today’s NHS staff have saved lives during a pandemic and hear their views on today’s health service.
“The story of Seacole and Nightingale is still extremely relevant, both in response to Covid-19 and the challenges being faced with gender and colour, I hope that this documentary will help to inspire people and support them in overcoming their own challenges.”
The project is being funded by the Arts Council England and backed by NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
CCG assistant director for mental health, learning disabilities and transformation, Heather Corlett, who programme manages the Child Health and Wellbeing Network for the North East and North Cumbria, introduced Dr Nanda to Eliot’s work.
Heather, who was also interviewed for the documentary, said: “One of the Network’s cross cutting themes is arts and creativity which is important for both the wellbeing and life chances of our children.”
“As a member of the network, Eliot has contributed to our arts initiative across two schools in Middlesbrough and in Redcar and Cleveland so when we were approached to be a part of his documentary we were very keen to be involved.”
The ‘Seacole and Nightingale’ documentary will premiere online on Thursday 13 August at www.eliotsmithdance.com.
Dr Vaishali Nanda, a GP in Middlesbrough since 2005, added: “Taking part in the documentary offered a great opportunity to show how primary care has lead and adapted at pace since the outbreak of Covid-19.
“It also demonstrates how as front line medics we managed to show a similar resilience and vision just as Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole did during the Cholera pandemic of 1853.
“Covid has changed all our lives, but as a practice we were able to adapt very quickly using existing telephone consultations and putting video consultations in place within a matter of days – that adaptability and team working ensured that we were still able to offer access to our patients, while at all times ensuring the safety of our three BAME partners.
“Things have changed at a pace but what helped us in the practice was good communication, compassion to ourselves and to our team and keeping our patients at the very centre of everything we do.”
(The Child Health and Wellbeing Network for the North East and North Cumbria, has c600 professionals from all parts of the child system, their website can be found at: https://nhsjoinourjourney.org.uk/what-we-are-doing/priorities/optimising-health-services/child-health-and-wellbeing-network/ To Join the network please email : firstname.lastname@example.org)