A year ago, London’s first known coronavirus patient arrived at Lewisham Hospital in an Uber, sparking concern across south east London.

The unnamed patient, said to be a Chinese woman, was taken to a purpose-built pod for treatment and later discharged.

In the following weeks, as the first wave broke across the capital, Lewisham Hospital came close to being overwhelmed by ballooning case numbers, despite a strict national lockdown being implemented in March.

The BBC has been given access to the hospital, interviewing staff about their experiences of 12 months on the Covid frontline.

News Shopper: Itohan Ibude (BBC)

Itohan Ibude, 39, from Bellingham, struggles with feelings of guilt, despite doing everything in her power to help patients.

The nurse, who manages the Chestnut Ward, said: "The first wave was patients with comorbidities.

"This second wave, we have had younger patients come in.

"We had a family of three admitted to this ward. Two of them recovered but sadly the dad passed away. That made it worse for me knowing how that story ended.

"I am a mum myself. I did think how it was going to be for his wife ... there is guilt every day when I go home.

"The guilt will always be there. As a nurse, what we are used to, and see the majority of the times, is seeing that patient go through deterioration, through the phase of improvement and then discharged.

“But when you see people deteriorate, you feel you haven't done anything even though you have done everything.

"Sometimes when I leave here, I sit in my car for 20 minutes.

“I think of my whole day, but I know that reflection is not going to change anything."

News Shopper: Harriet Bryce (BBC)

Harriet Bryce is a respiratory physiotherapist who has spent the last year treating coronavirus patients suffering breathing difficulties.

She told the BBC:  "I wasn't at work the day the first patient came to Lewisham, but coming in on the Monday there was definitely a different sense in the air... of fear, the unknown, and what we would expect over the coming days and weeks."

Ms Bryce’s work focuses on helping patients breathe normally again.

"As they get better I start rehabilitation, which begins in critical care even when patients are sedated.

"I move their limbs while they are asleep, and position them to help with their joints and skin.

“As they wake up I get them to do simple bed exercises, and I then get them sitting up in bed, sitting in a chair, and eventually walking to build up their strength.

"Sometimes patients need further rehab once they are discharged to help them get back to doing daily tasks and get their lives back.

"What we love is seeing a patient recover and progress towards going home. It makes it all worthwhile.”

News Shopper: Ed Scott (BBC)

Junior Doctor Ed Scott, 29, was in Kampala treating children with cleft palates when the first coronavirus patients began to arrive at Lewisham Hospital.

As the borders began to shut, he had to quickly change plans or face being stranded abroad.

He told the BBC: "It was either trying to leave and come back or potentially be stuck there for the foreseeable future.

“I knew it was difficult in Lewisham, I had friends and colleagues saying how busy they were.

"Everyone was stretched pretty thin; nurses working ridiculously hard, physiotherapists and other staff on the ward faced with more work than they were used to.

"We do our best to update family members to let them know what is going on with their loved ones.

"If we have got 25 or so patients in critical care and you're one of four doctors on the ward then you're making up to six calls a day.

"Unfortunately, a lot of them are not happy calls... they are calls discussing patients not doing very well or bad news where patients have died.

"Making those conversations four, five, six times a day and can be really difficult.”