Tuesday 23 March 2021 | 7:00pm

Rachel Clarke & Gavin Francis: A Year on the NHS Frontline

Tuesday 23 March 2021 | 7:00pm

Rachel Clarke & Gavin Francis: A Year on the NHS Frontline

£6.00 - Single event ticket
Marking one year since the UK was plunged into a lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke and GP Gavin Francis share their experiences of tragedy, frustration, courage and kindness from the frontline. Available until 25 March 2021

In January, it was reported that the UK had the highest daily Covid-19 death rate in the world. A year on from when UK residents first went into lockdown, and Boris Johnson suggested we could see it off in 12 weeks, our society is still plagued by the virus. Now more than ever it is vital that we listen to voices from the frontline of the pandemic.

Rachel Clarke’s latest book, Breathtaking: Inside the NHS in a Time of Pandemic, provides an unflinching account of a health service at absolute breaking point in April 2020 during the UK’s first wave. As a palliative care doctor, Clarke describes her frustration and argues that government ineptitude and lies are responsible for much of the UK’s covid chaos. She’ll be joined by GP Gavin Francis, who similarly authored his book Intensive Care: A GP, A Community, and Covid-19 across nine months of caring for a society in crisis. Working in both urban and rural areas, Francis gives an intimate account of the devastating effects of the pandemic across communities and GP surgeries struggling to cope with the surge in mental health crises across age demographics.

Join these extraordinary healthcare workers in these continually extraordinary times as they give the pandemic the scrutiny and reflection it demands, as well as celebrating the staggering human capacity for bravery, compassion, and endurance of those on the frontline.

Author Biographies

Rachel Clarke is a palliative care doctor and former television journalist who cares deeply about standing up for her patients and the NHS. She retrained as a doctor in her late twenties, after making current affairs documentaries about subjects as diverse as the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Al Qaeda and the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rachel believes that helping patients who are approaching the end of their lives experience the best quality life possible is priceless. She lives in Oxford with her husband and two children. 

Gavin Francis has worked across four continents as a surgeon, emergency physician, medical officer with the British Antarctic Survey and latterly as a GP; he has described the pandemic response of 2020 as the most intense period of his twenty-year career in medicine. He’s the author of the Sunday Times bestseller Adventures in Human Being, which was a BMA Book of the Year, and Shapeshifters. His books have won the SMIT Scottish Book of the Year Award, the Saltire Award for Non-Fiction and been shortlisted for the Ondaatje and Costa Prizes. He also writes for the GuardianThe Times, the London Review of Books and Granta. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and children. 

About this event

Event information  This event will be broadcast on 23 March, and will be available to buy and watch on demand for 1 week, until 30 March 
Access You can access this event by clicking the ‘Watch’ button in My Account
Captioning This event will be captioned 48 hours after broadcast
Get involved  You are able to join the conversation on this event by using the chat feature 
Booking fee  Ticket price includes a £1.00 booking fee