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‘Literally everything that you see on screen in Breathtaking is true’

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‘Literally everything that you see on screen in Breathtaking is true’

This morning on Good Morning Britain, co-writer of new ITV drama Breathtaking, Rachel Clarke joined Susanna Reid and Ed Balls…

Rachel discussed her memoir and what more the government can be doing to help NHS staff. Responding to a clip from the second episode of Breathtaking, which aired on ITV1/STV last night, that showed actress Joanne Froggatt being blamed for discharging patients back to care homes, Rachel Clarke said:

“Literally everything that you see on screen in Breathtaking is true! In the sense that it has really happened to real patients and real members of staff and that was a basic principle in the writing and creating of the drama. That awful scene that we just saw is absolutely based on my experience and our experience at that time. 

“There weren’t enough Covid tests. Staff couldn’t get them. Patients couldn’t get them in the main part. And the tests that were there, were taking five days to come back. So if you had a patient, do you send them back to their care home without a test or do you keep them in a hospital filled with Covid where they will catch Covid and die because there is a five day lag? That’s why when the Government claims their testing service was ‘world beating’, we, who actually looked at the patients in their eyes, knew that it was a travesty of that.” 

Explaining why she believes the NHS Nightingale Hospitals were never used, she said:

“At the time, to those of us working in the NHS, this felt like a government performance rather than reality. A bed space is not what cares for a patient. It’s human beings, nurses, doctors. There were empty hospitals but unstaffed. Great for photo ops but rubbish for caring.” 

Good Morning Britain weekdays from 6am on ITV1 & ITVX

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