NHS doctor turns longest-serving Miss England star as she treats Covid patients

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A hero NHS doctor has just made Miss England history.

Dr Bhasha Mukherjee is the longest-serving winner of the prestigious pageant competition.

As coronavirus scuppered the 2020 contest, she holds onto her title until next year.

This is the most time anyone’s had the crown for since 1928.

Basha was originally named Miss England in July 2019 and began travelling the world to carry out charity work as part of her victory.

Her philanthropy was cut short when the pandemic began as she answered the government’s call for junior doctors to return to the frontline in April.

Ever since, Basha has been working hard to save lives at Boston Pilgrim Hospital in Lincolnshire and Derby Royal Hospital.

The pageant queen, from Derby, has spent her time in A&E for the last few months.

Life is a lot different to how it usually looks when she’s walking the catwalk at the glitzy pageant.

Basha works tirelessly during 12 hour shifts at hospital and fits her Miss England duties in around them.

Far from buckling under all the work, she’s chuffed that she’s been able to keep these responsibilities up for longer than planned.

Basha said: "It's an honour to continue serving my country during the Covid pandemic as well as being able to do it as Miss England.

"There's no better time for me to be Miss England while helping England at this time of need.

"It has been tough for everyone and while I was doing my charity work abroad I just wanted to be back home helping my colleagues.

"I've still been doing plenty of charity work remotely and being able to do that and serve the nation at the same time has been really special.

"It's a shame the Miss England contest was postponed again but I'm delighted to be their longest serving winner.

"It's bitter-sweet in a way as the circumstances aren't ideal, it's hard to celebrate when you're seeing Covid numbers rising in your hospital.”

Basha continued: "We are right next to Nottingham which has the highest rate in the country so we have staff and patients coming between us and the hub of the virus.

"In the summer we had far fewer positive Covid cases – but now suddenly it is a different story.

"We're seeing more asymptomatic patients testing positive and more people coming in for different problems who turn out to have the virus.

"That can be quite concerning for the hospital because it was sudden and we were not prepared when the tests were coming back positive.

"It means you have positive cases exposed to other patients while sitting in the waiting room together.

"It is daunting because you always worry about your vulnerable patients being exposed to the virus.”

Basha added: "This week there was a man who was immunocompromised and he was admitted at the same time as a woman who tested positive and they were in the same room – but the hospital struggles to find single rooms for people.

"If cases grow as they did early this year it may be that surgery and even cancer treatment is cancelled and we all transfer to Covid wards.

"So it has certainly been a challenging time, I'm in the urological surgery department as well as the Covid ward and I've just finished a seven day week working 12 hours shifts.

"Juggling that with Miss England duties can be tricky – but I think I've managed to find the balance."

Bhasha was born in Kolkata but moved to the UK when she was nine.

This week, the University of Nottingham graduate has embarked on a fundraising campaign for the Hope Foundation to raise money for children living on the street in her home town.

The caring pageant star has been encouraging colleagues and NHS workers to get involved with online fitness challenges.

Miss England organiser Angie Beasley is very proud of the star.

She added: "Bhasha Mukherjee has already been an exceptional Miss England and I'm delighted she will continue with her reign.

"Not only has she served her country as an NHS doctor throughout the pandemic, she has also brought a diverse feel to the contest due to her heritage which truly reflects England today.

"The Miss England final was initially planned for July 2020 but due to the pandemic it was then postponed to October.

"After Miss World announced they are postponing the 70th final until at least Autumn 2021 we decided to reschedule again especially after the recent government announcements.

"Hopefully the next date for the final will be third time lucky.”

  • NHS

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