NHS workers discuss Covid-19 impact on their jobs in new podcast

Hope Samuel, the retired clinical psychologist behind Healthworker Talk

Hope Samuel, the retired clinical psychologist behind Healthworker Talk - Credit: Hope Samuel

When clinical psychologist Hope Samuel retired late in 2020, she wanted to find a way of highlighting some of the underappreciated jobs in the NHS - and how key workers have adapted during a testing year.

With no broadcasting experience but some help from a radio producer friend, the Hampstead woman launched a podcast, Healthworker Talk

In it she uses the empathetic manner honed by decades working in mental health services to chat to NHS people - from dietitians to community nurses and junior doctors. 

Hope, 57, said she was keen to speak to people beyond the more recognisable NHS professions. 

She has lived in NW3 for 30 years, and told this newspaper: "Having worked in the NHS for years and I have always been very interested in the jobs of the people I worked with. Lots of people don't really know what a lot of NHS workers do. Some jobs are clearly better known than others.

"This year, people have been talking about the NHS in a much more positive way. They're much more aware of needing the NHS, but I think sometimes they might not be aware of all the people who are part of it. 

"So I started talking to people, and what has happened to them during the pandemic has been fascinating."

Guests on the show so far include Hannah Style – an NHS dietitian and founder of food poverty charity Feast With Us – and a social worker specialising in mental health rehabilitation. 

Hope added: "What I hope comes across is what all of these people are like as individuals. I'm definitely thinking about people we don't talk about enough. People don't talk about the dietitians and they definitely don't talk about learning disabilities. 

"Some of the realities of people's working lives shocked me. Obviously some people have been working remotely, that's been challenging, for example Hannah. What comes across with her is the restrictions of working remotely.

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"She talks about how it's something she never thought she could manage, but just having to get on with it. Then one of the community nurses is working face to face, and what she talks about is how they have to get on all of the PPE and get on with things. And there's also simply a sense of it being scary."

To listen to Healthworker Talk, visit shows.acast.com/Healthworker-Talk/episodes

This newspaper is hosting Ham&High: Our Community's Mental Health on Friday May 21. It is a day of free online events on the topic of mental health. Register for free by searching "Ham&High" on eventbrite.co.uk.