Nursing in the COVID-19 Pandemic

The experience of military nurses proved invaluable during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Regulars and reserves were among the expert team called together in March 2020, at the beginning of ‘wave one’.  Major Eamonn Sullivan, Chief Nurse at an NHS Hospital and Army Reservist, was among them and would go on to lead the temporary intensive care hospital NHS Nightingale at the ExCel conference centre. In further waves of COVID, he then became Chief Nurse for Test and Trace, leading the effort to provide testing to health and social care workers to protect patients.

Eamonn also describes the role of an Army nurse and some of the many advancements in nursing practice that have resulted from the tragedy of war. Discussion of COVID-19 begins at 4:09.

Content warnings: minor detail of Iraq War, Afghanistan War, historic battles (World War II, Battle of Britain, burns casualties), detailed discussion of COVID-19 pandemic including intensive care and the disproportionate impact on people of colour

NHS Nightingale images courtesy of the Science Museum and Eamonn Sullivan

British Military Nursing in Peace and War