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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 5

A surgeon in an operating theatre Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC A 98-year-old man arrives at Hammersmith Hospital for a landmark heart operation. John is the oldest person surgeons have ever carried out the procedure on. The operation known as TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation) is offered to patients who are deemed not suitable for open heart surgery. An artificial valve is inserted through an artery in the groin, up through the body and into the heart. Without the op, John has been told he has only a 50 percent chance of surviving the next six months.

The operation gets under way, but things don't go to plan and soon another surgical team from a different hospital within the Trust is drafted in to save John's life.

The clock is also ticking for 18-year-old Debbie at St Mary's Hospital, home to the Trust's specialist paediatric centre. Debbie is about to have a lifesaving bone marrow transplant which could cure her of sickle cell disease. She has already had a number of strokes as a result of her condition and without the transplant her outcome looks bleak. Imperial is one of only a few trusts in the country where they transplant with a 50 per cent match and her brother Sam has agreed to donate his bone marrow to save her life. "Anything I've done up to this point means nothing compared to when you can give a bit of yourself to save someone else. Now that's responsibility," he says.

Currently, the groundbreaking treatment Debbie will receive is only offered to patients under the age of 19. Leena Karnik, consultant pediatrician tell us, "We don't know how things are going to pan out in the future, but it's certainly known that this is Debbie's last chance.".

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