A dentist dedicated two months to helping Northwick Park Hospital with the second Covid-19 wave after being retrained to work in intensive care.

Sonal Popat, who was planning to return to work as a dentist after her sabbatical in 2019, had to put her return on hod after practices closed in the first wave.

Since then she decided to help out with the pandemic in various ways she could, such as helping a local charity deliver food and medicine to those shielding , and then helping out with. The Test and Trace service.

Eventually during the second wave, she ended up being shown the basics on how to prone a patient at the hospital, and found herself working in intensive care later the same day.

She said: “The last year has taken me so far away from dentistry. It’s been a privilege to have been involved and working in intensive care has been an extraordinary experience. I’m actually grateful to have worked there as have many of my colleagues.”

After being introduced to ICU to help with Northwick Park, she spent two months helping colleagues as the second wave struck the country.

“I didn’t have time to think about it or even tell my husband until I got home,” she added.

However despite the rush and urgency of her helping out, she called the two month placement a “great privilege”.

Proning teams became common practice in the hospital, and those helping took on additional duties to help hard pressed nurses, who went from one-on-one care to managing up to four patients at a time.

One of her most vivid memories is seeing the first patient she helped prone finally regain consciousness nearly two months later.

“It has been a life-changing year for me. I feel pride and affection for Northwick Park. It’s my local hospital so it’s great to have been involved.”