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Nurse recognised by PM for book to help children cope with Covid-19 anxiety

Molly Watts is a staff nurse on the paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton Children’s Hospital.

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Molly Watts and her book (University Hospital Southampton/PA)

Molly Watts and her book (University Hospital Southampton/PA)

Molly Watts and her book (University Hospital Southampton/PA)

A nurse has received a Points of Light award from Prime Minister Boris Johnson for creating a book to help reduce anxiety in children caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Molly Watts, a staff nurse on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Southampton Children’s Hospital, was thanked for her book Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus, which she created in her spare time.

The free online publication, which has now been published in paperback, has been downloaded more than 260,000 times in 164 countries, and was used in schools and nurseries to help ease the fears of children before the lockdown.

It is one of a collection of titles Molly has written under her Nurse Dotty Books brand, which are often written and illustrated by her when she returns home from shifts on the unit.

The Points of Light award is given by the prime minister to recognise those who are supporting their communities during the pandemic, with Captain Tom Moore being a high-profile recipient.

Mr Johnson wrote to Ms Watts: “You have used your Nurse Dotty Books to help reduce the fear and anxiety that many young people have about coronavirus.

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Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus (Molly Watts/PA)

Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus (Molly Watts/PA)

Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus (Molly Watts/PA)

“Allow me also to express my deepest gratitude and admiration for your service to our country as a paediatric nurse in intensive care.

“Twenty-four hours a day, for every second of every hour, you and your colleagues are watching over your patients with the most astonishing devotion, precision and love.

“It is why our whole nation is so immeasurably proud of our NHS and everyone who works within it and, on behalf of the whole country, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Ms Watts said: “I am so honoured to receive this award, especially now when so many incredible people are doing so much to help others.

“The fact that the story has reached so many children and that they have found it helpful is amazing to me.”

Visit www.nursedottybooks.com for more information and access to the books.

PA