• By Jackie McColl, Deputy Director of Communications for NHS Lanarkshire

It might seem that the last thing needed inside a coronavirus-hit hospital would be a television crew scrutinising every action of staff and patients.

Not so.

At NHS Lanarkshire, we welcome the media because of the way a well-woven piece of broadcasting can complement beautifully the incredible work NHS staff are doing and the immense pressure that each and every one of them is under on a daily basis.

The NHS is a very complex organisation and, in dealing with a pandemic, it is vital that we make our messaging as clear and simple as possible.

Broadcast images may help save lives through showing clearly that Covid-19 is affecting everyone, from the very youngest to the very oldest.

Visually, through the power of patients’ stories, television exerts a visceral grip on the viewer and is excellent in terms of telling a tale through the patients’ eyes.

Witnessing the process of a patient is important. Credit: ITV News

The whole complexity of healthcare services can be revealed through broadcast media - it can take the viewer inside an Intensive Care Unit, a place that many people have never been near.

Our NHS services have been radically reconfigured in such a short space of time and we have a duty of care to communicate to our patients in Lanarkshire to help them seek the health advice and support required.

One of the challenges in embracing broadcast is ensuring that the media that do visit build up a respectful rapport with our staff.

Through mutual trust, this produces the best material for them and for us.

The camera captures the emotion involved in patient care; emotion that is intensified at a time such as this.

Emotion affects and connects people, touches viewers, makes for memorable images.

Those images have helped us to reiterate the stay-at-home message and to convey the damage, destruction and devastation that Covid-19 is causing to families up and down the country.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know