Published: 20:44, 29 September 2020
| Updated: 08:34, 30 September 2020
Medway doctors are among 40 paediatricians who have contributed to a poem about the lack of safeguarding for youngsters at home during the pandemic.
Chatham born TV star Dr Ranj Singh and Medway doctor Dr Kate O'Loughlin - along with children Emily, Sarah and Aoife O'Loughlin - all feature in a new video showcasing the poem, written in collaboration with poet Laura Mucha.
The performance is designed to let children know they’re there if they need them, whether during the pandemic or otherwise, and thank them for making their jobs worthwhile.
The doctors attended more than 10 hours of workshops in which they co-wrote a poem and planned their performance before creating a short film, which was previewed during a Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) webinar today, ahead of National Poetry Day on October 1 and World Mental Health Day on October 10.
They have also created an illustrated poster, which they hope will be displayed in hospitals across the country.
Dr Najette Ayadi O’Donnell said: “The pandemic has exacerbated existing economic and health inequalities among children and young people. We were moved to act when children thanked us and other key workers by co-writing a poem with Laura and turning it into a film. This is our collective response back to them.”
Dr Guddi Singh, who chaired the RSM event said: “Child health today – like the whole of the NHS – is facing enormous challenges. We need to encourage doctors to step outside of their traditional roles and to use both the arts and advocacy to help re-imagine paediatrics for a post Covid-19 world.”
Laura Mucha added: “What became clear during the workshops was that the pandemic was having a huge impact on doctors, who felt a pressure to be ‘heroes’ at all times. I think the constraints of poetry, as well as the process of learning about it and having a shared goal, made it easier for doctors to reflect on and share just how difficult this period has been.”