Northwick Park Hospital nurse writes book about working in the pandemic

Kelly Critcher. Credit: London North West University Healthcare

Medical memoirs have become increasingly popular in recent years but the majority have been written by doctors, not nurses.

Kelly Critcher is helping redress the balance with A Matter of Life and Death about her work as a palliative care nurse and subsequent involvement in the pandemic at Northwick Park Hospital.

The 42 year-old – a third generation nurse following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother – realised a long-held wish to write a book.

Kelly said: “My friends and family have always been interested in my stories about work so I started writing them down a couple of years ago.

She enlisted the help of a ghost writer to shape her story and secure a deal with publisher John Blake.

Kelly added: “I used the train journey to and from work to capture anything that had happened to me during the day and wrote it up in the evening when I could find an hour or two.

“I was surprised how much I forgot until I reread my notes, especially the emotion I was feeling at the time. It was cathartic writing the book but hard work.

“It’s always a bit of a worry letting someone else read your work. I was so happy when I gave my step-daughter Liwie the manuscript and she read it in one sitting and loved it.”

Kelly describes working as a palliative care nurse as a ‘great privilege’

“It is a privilege to be a part of people’s lives at the most challenging of times and helping them understand their diagnosis and what it means for their future.

“Dying is a part of life and we help people live well until they die, such as supporting them at home if that is where they want to be.” 

You can pre-order a copy of A Matter of Life and Death at bit.ly/36EI9aX