British Library to join “Voices of COVID-19” project

A University of Manchester team of researchers and volunteers who have been documenting National Health Service (NHS) voices of COVID-19 since March, are to join forces with the British Library thanks a grant of nearly 1 million pounds (1.3 million U.S. dollars).

Stephanie Snow, who leads the influential “NHS at 70” project, and her team have already collected over 200 COVID-19 voices, including Nick Hart, the respiratory doctor who treated British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in intensive care.

They also include Samuel Agabi, a Nigerian hospital administrator working in a London hospital, and Natalie Parr, a patient and wheelchair user accessing GP services at home.

The grant from UK Research and Innovation through the Arts and Humanities Research Council will enable Snow to link up with the British Library’s oral history department to form a permanent public resource which will also inform policy and practice.

The project — called “NHS Voices of COVID-19” — is supported by a diverse group of stakeholders including the NHS, the TUC, Age UK, the Stroke Association and many other health, community and heritage organisations.

Other participants in the project include patients, policymakers, frontline NHS staff, young people and individuals with high-risk conditions.

Since 2017, “NHS at 70” has recorded over 1,000 interviews with people across Britain about the history of the NHS and its place in everyday life and work.