In the programme, which aired on Thursday evening, Kemp is seen visiting infected patients in the intensive care unit of a Milton Keynes hospital and interviewing the medical staff.
Some people took to Twitter to voice their outrage at the episode’s perceived invasiveness, with one commentor claiming Kemp and ITV were “acting like vultures.”
“So its OK for #RossKemp to go into ICU but not the loved ones of those dying? Sorry, I don’t agree with it,” wrote another, while someone else described the episode as being “pure titillation”.
However, the Milton Keynes University Hospital has defended the decision to allow Kemp and the team access, on the grounds that the documentary would help reassure and inform the public.
To film the special, Kemp and one cameraman were allowed into the ICU for less than 30 minutes. They wore PPE which was replaced by the production team, ensuring no NHS supplies were diminished.
Ross Kemp: On the NHS Frontline presented a bruising depiction of the challenges medical staff are currently facing, with one doctor saying: “We’ve become a hospital that is effectively on a war footing, the reality is this feels like a war zone and a Field hospital.”
While many viewers were vocally disapproving of the programme, others posted words in support of Kemp’s efforts.
“Excellent documentary from Ross Kemp. If that doesn’t make you stay in, nothing will,” wrote one Twitter user.