Children's nurse recognised by Prime Minister for creating book to reduce coronavirus anxiety

Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirusA Southampton nurse who created a book to help reduce anxiety in children caused by the coronavirus outbreak has been recognised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Molly Watts, a staff nurse on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Southampton Children’s Hospital, has received a Points of Light award for inspirational service after creating Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus.

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 prior to their closures due to 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 Prime Minister is currently recognising those who are supporting communities through the battle with COVID-19 and last week honoured Captain Tom Moore with a Points of Light award for his fundraising efforts to coincide with his 100th birthday.

“You have used your Nurse Dotty Books to help reduce the fear and anxiety that many young people have about coronavirus,” said Mr Johnson in a letter to Molly.

“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.”

Molly Watts children's book

Molly 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.

“I am so proud to be part of our wonderful NHS and I owe this award to my wonderful colleagues in PICU who have always inspired and encouraged Nurse Dotty and who are working so hard.”

Visit for more information and access to Molly’s books.

Posted on Thursday 7 May 2020