Inside the Covid-19 ward where staff and patients continue to battle the virus

  • Special report by ITV Wales National Correspondent Rob Osborne

In a side room, not far from where coronavirus patients fight for their lives, there’s a small room where staff can have a short rest.

A little refuge from the hell they’ve witnessed.

As they chat over a cup of tea and a biscuit, they’re surrounded by drawings of rainbows.

These have been made by their children. The sons and daughters of the doctors, nurses, porters and cleaners. All those helping in this fight like no other.

The staff room where medics can take some respite is covered in drawings of rainbows

But while they work at hospital, their families are worried back home.

Stephanie’s family asked her if she had to go to work.

“Is it something you want to put your life at risk for?”, they asked her.

Stephanie’s answer was simple: “It’s just the nature of the job.”

“Everyone says you're a hero, you’re so brave but how I see it is that we’ve committed to this job and that’s how I take it.”

Stephanie is worried people are going back to normal, thinking this virus is gone

The healthcare assistant is one of many who work on the COVID-19 wards at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

There was an initial rise in cases at the start of the outbreak, then the numbers stabilised. But in recent days they’ve seen more patients on the critical care unit.

A nurse dressed in full PPE in the Wrexham Maelor Covid ward

Stephanie is worried people are going back to normal, thinking this virus is gone. It hasn’t.

“You come into work and you put in your time, your effort, your health on the line and you see people off doing what they want to do and you just think why are we bothering? Why are we bothering going to work? The consequences are going to be dire if people are doing what they want to do.”

The Pantomime ward usually looks after patients needing a hip replacement. Now it looks after patients recovering from the virus.

I ask Wendy, the matron, when it will return to normal.

“Maybe this is the new normal” she says. “This could be our normal for quite some time.”

There’s no signs of a slowdown at this hospital. The staff remain on high alert should a second wave hit. They, and the rest of the country, just hope that won’t happen.