Ross Kemp faces backlash for ‘wasting’ face masks to film inside an NHS hospital for upcoming ITV documentary
Twitter/Ross Kemp

Actor Ross Kemp has come under fire for posting a video on Twitter in advance of his documentary about frontline NHS staff treating coronavirus patients, which will air its first episode ITV next Thursday.

In the short video, he can be seen in what appears to be a hospital (presumably in Milton Keynes, where the documentary is being filmed), wearing a face mask which he claims is identical to those used by NHS staff, but explains that the masks will be replaced by ones that the production team has brought, and will therefore not affect the supply to the NHS.

He says:

I can assure you we are not taking anything from the NHS, we are replacing the masks that we use with our own.

However, many have expressed their confusion, questioning why TV stations or production companies with access to the personal protective equipment (PPE) which is in such short supply aren't donating any stocks they have to the NHS workers who need it to stay safe.

It is especially poignant given that families of patients are being denied access to their relatives – some of whom are in critical condition.

Others pointed out that touching the mask with his hands goes against guidelines on how to correctly use PPE, although it's worth noting that it's not made explicitly clear when and where this was filmed.

Milton Keynes University Hospital tweeted in defence of the choice, saying: "We hope this show will provide the general public with vital information and reassurance."

There were people who saw the value in Kemp's work too, and thought the benefits outweighed any potential risk.

This morning, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that 19 NHS workers have died of coronavirus so far.

Kemp has yet to respond to the backlash.

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