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Health, Sports & Psychology

Hospital - Series 1

Hospital, our new six-part co-production with the BBC, is the story of the NHS in unprecedented times.

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Hospital - group shot of the doctors and other hospital staff (BBC Use) Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC With exceptional access to one of the UK’s biggest and busiest NHS Trusts, Hospital brings audiences intensely close to the issues and challenges that continually dominate the headlines. Filmed over six weeks during the past three months, Hospital is a timely six part series capturing the day-to-day realities facing the NHS right now. Each episode will show with exceptional candour the ever-increasing demands on the NHS’s services, from intricate and morally complex medical ethics to health tourism; from A&E overcrowding to cancelled operations. The audience will see the extraordinary dilemmas which happen every day for the consultants, surgeons and bed managers, all of which have profound consequences for patients and treatments. Shot across five hospitals in Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust London, the series highlights the complex decision making and the impact each one can have, following the key decision makers as they attempt to care for nearly 20,000 people every week. But standing in their way are limited resources, an increasing number of emergency patients and a clock that never stops ticking. 

Hospital is currently broadcasting on Wednesday nights on BBC Two at 9pm, and is available on iPlayer. Full broadcast details and links to watch again can be found on

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Episode 6

Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC In this episode, surgeons are forced to use unconventional methods to get their operations completed against the odds.

At Hammersmith Hospital, 31-year-old Jennifer is taking part in a groundbreaking scheme to overcome the five year wait on the deceased kidney donor list. Jennifer is a live donor and will save her husband Elliot's life by donating her left kidney. Elliot has just five per cent kidney function and is being kept alive by dialysis. Because Jennifer isn't a blood type match for Elliot, she will pool her healthy kidney into a sharing scheme with other donors'. After it is harvested, Jennifer's kidney will be couriered to another hospital to be transplanted into a stranger. Elliot will receive a kidney from another anonymous donor elsewhere in the UK.

In St Mary's, 84-year-old Betty arrives to have her bowel cancer removed by colorectal surgeon George Reese. After the operation, she will need a high dependency bed, but the hospital is on red alert and there is no bed available for her to recover in. George Reese has to decide whether it is safe to go ahead with her operation, knowing that she will have to stay in the operating theatre recovery area after her procedure, rather than on a ward.

After a year and a half on the waiting list, 41-year-old Daniel is booked in for weight loss surgery with the Trust's leading bariatric surgeon, Mr Ahmed. At a 60 per cent cancellation rate, bariatric patients are the most likely to have their operations delayed due to lack of post-operative beds. To ensure Daniel gets his life changing surgery, Mr Ahmed has sought approval to use NHS money to buy beds in The Lindo Wing, one of Imperial's private hospitals.

Episodes in this series

Episode Description
Episode 1 Two patients need life-saving surgery but there is only one bed left on the intensive care ward. How will the NHS... Read more
Episode 2 91-year-old Dolly, who recently broke her ankle, feels she's guilty of bed-blocking as she cannot be discharged until... Read more
Episode 3 The neurological department in the hospital has one of the longest waiting lists in the country - it is also... Read more
Episode 4 As a woman from Nigeria looks at the possibility of owing half a million pounds to the NHS, this episode looks at... Read more
Episode 5 This episode looks at pioneering treatments for some of the oldest and youngest patients in the hospital. Read more
Episode 6 In this episode, surgeons are forced to use unconventional methods to get their operations completed against the odds. Read more