Staff at Kingston Hospital have shared their experiences of working in some of the most difficult circumstances on the hospital's intensive care wards during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a video uploaded by the NHS hospital to Youtube, a number of doctors, nurses, physios and other professionals at the hospital described on their experiences on the frontlines of a deadly global pandemic:

Senior Sister Jo Walker described working intensive care at the height of the pandemic as "overwhelming" in her interview.

"We were planning for something and didn't know what it would look like. We went from a 15 bedded unit in one level to a 35 bedded unit on three different areas with the same amount of IC nurses so we were given a massive support team," she described.

"Nurses were redeployed from all over the hospital from A and E, from the wards, we've had physios for example trained as ICU nurses, most of it on the job, and they've all been fantastic," Jo added.

"We knew something was coming but we didn't expect the severity and how extremely busy it was going to be, and the unpredictability of it all," Josie Akbar, a senior nurse, meanwhile reflected.

"They stepped in, they stepped up, and we've been able to speak about our experiences and that's been really helpful.

"The strangest thing was meeting people in the changing room after working with them for 12 hours. When all you can see are their eyes,I didn't know who these people were," she said.

Gags Sekhon, a resuscitation officer at Kingston Hospital, spoke about how initial concerns about the change of environment for staff coming into the intensive care suites were dispelled by the professionalism of his colleagues.

"I was worried that working with people who might not be familiar with the environment might be stressful for them and the established ICU staff.

"I think they did fantastically. They never once showed that they had to look after an increased number of patients, they've been fantastic throughout," he said.

Student Nurse Kate Walker: "It's taught me to be a lot more hands on and given me confidence. The team around me have been amazing," she said.

Jose Ferraro, respiratory physiotherapist: "I was way out of my comfort zone, the was no training beforehand and the nurses were amazing, the ICU nurses worked relentlessly to keep things going and make things work as smoothly as possible," he recalled.

Staff also reflected on how junior doctors were able to make contact with family members who were forbidden to visit in patients due to the highly contagious nature of Covid-19 coronavirus.

"The love and support that have been shown by everybody in the community has been amazing," Jo Walker said.

Alison Walker, the clinical lead for critical care at Kingston Hospital, said: "There's a real feeling that we've been on a rollercoaster journey with it's ups and downs and it has taken a huge toll.

That rollercoaster experience was explored in a single story told by Anna Joseph, a consultant anaesthetist:

"My lasting memory is of the first patient I incubated. As he went to sleep he grabbed my hand and begged me not to let him die," she said.

"It stuck with me because I was convinced that despite all our best efforts that would happen...and he survived, and he went home."