Working life: Capturing Covid-19

Published on: 2 Nov 2023

Dr Abhi Mantgani describes how he is leading an art programme to commemorate NHS staff in their fight against Covid-19.

Dr Abhi Mantgani


The day starts with a slice of toast and a cup of tea while catching up on the news. Sadly, a lot of it is disheartening these days. My wife Mary and I decide we have time for a quick swim. I’m not an exercise fanatic, but I try to stay fit and mobile.


As senior executive partner at Miriam Primary Care Group, my days are usually varied and made up of clinical, PCN leadership and practice management work. This morning I’m meeting my management team and clinical leads to discuss service delivery issues. 


I head to the surgery’s waiting area to be photographed with art student Jono Brown (pictured, above left) and QOF and communications co-ordinator Melissa Davies (above, centre) with our Covid artworks, which have recently gone on display there. When we started the Covid vaccination programme in December 2021, I suggested we save the consumables, such as vials and packaging materials, so we could reuse them to create something to commemorate this dark period in our lives and the huge efforts to overcome it. Melissa came up with several ideas for artworks. Now, two are finished. The first, on the right of the picture, is a replica of a Pfizer vial made from hundreds of vials and packaging materials. The second, on the left and created by Jono, represents the Covid cell image hanging by a meat hook to reflect the idea of herd immunity. Patients are amazed by them and say they should be on display in a museum. I’m working on it.  


As the vaccination effort took priority during the pandemic, some of our services – such as minor surgeries and joint injections – were paused, so there is now a long waiting list. I have a range of minor surgery appointments this afternoon, including removing a cyst and a benign skin lesion. We have a surgical suite for these procedures, and patients are pleased they can have them done in a community setting.  


I go to the art room to see how Melissa is getting on with the third artwork – a rainbow to reflect the efforts of NHS workers in the pandemic. While there, I receive an email that all three artworks will soon be displayed at the headquarters of the RCGP in Euston, London. I can’t wait for them to reach a wider audience.

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Profile: Dr Abhi Mantgani
Location: Birkenhead, Merseyside
Roles: GP and PCN clinical director with a special interest in minor surgery and musculoskeletal medicine
Hours worked: 35-40 per week