Hospital is a ground-breaking documentary that goes behind the scenes of one of the largest and busiest NHS trusts in the UK.
BBC Two: Hospital
We gave BBC Two unprecedented access to our five hospitals and the key decision makers within them, as they make life changing decisions and work to transform and improve services for the future.
The first series of Hospital, a six part series, was a ground-breaking documentary that went behind the scenes of one of the largest and busiest NHS trusts in the UK.
The second series, a four part series, again followed staff and patients at the Trust’s five hospitals to illustrate the achievements and challenges facing the NHS.
Hospital 2 – episode one
Episode one shows the Trust’s response to the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack on 22 March 2017. St Mary’s Hospital, one of London’s four major trauma centres, received eight casualties from the incident.
Among the first patients brought to A&E are two French students, Yann and Victor, and British day-tripper Stephen. Yann has received serious head injuries and needs an urgent operation, while Victor has a collapsed lung and multiple fractures. Stephen has a serious injury to his leg which he might lose if it is not operated on immediately. Both Stephen and Yann go straight to theatre.
In the days that follow, all three patients continue to receive treatment on the intensive care and major trauma wards. They and their families reflect on what has happened to them and look to the future as their conditions improve.
View a clip from episode one
Hospital 2 - episode two
Episode two features three patients as they receive treatment for cancer using a mix of NHS and private health.
Glendon from Preston has an aggressive brain tumour and has identified an immunotherapy drug being trailed for his type of cancer. He wants to self-fund a course of the drug at a cost of up to £30,000 per round.
Nicky from Devon has ovarian cancer which has spread. Both the surgery and current chemotherapy that Nicky receives is on the NHS however she also wants to take a drug that is currently only funded by the NHS following three courses of chemotherapy and she’s just about to start her second. Nicky decides to crowdfund the £60,000 needed to buy the drug privately.
Mary, an 87-year-old woman from London, is having surgery to remove a suspicious lump on her lung. She decides to have her scans and tests with the NHS but uses her private health insurance to have her surgery.
The episode highlights the financial and ethical challenges the NHS faces in treating patients with expensive or unproven drugs to try to prolong their lives. It also provides an insight into the Trust’s private healthcare division.
Hospital 2 - episode three
Episode three focuses on three patients to explore how acute hospitals work with mental health and social care partners in often complex and challenging circumstances to provide support to those in crisis.
St Mary's has one of its longest ever A&E waiting times when a woman with serious mental health issues has to wait 29 hours for a psychiatric bed. All staff can do is keep her safe while the liaison psychiatry team try to find the specialist care she needs.
Carl's dementia has dramatically worsened and his family take him to A&E after he becomes aggressive at home. Patricia, his wife of 25 years, looks after him without the help of carers, but is reaching breaking point.
Stanley, who also has dementia, has had four admissions to St Mary's in the last six months; this time, he was found wandering semi-naked by police and brought to A&E. Stanley doesn’t need acute medical care but he isn’t coping at home. His family want to find him a nursing home place but it won't be easy as not every nursing home will feel they can manage Stanley's demanding behaviour.
Hospital 2 - episode four
With access to two key specialities, cardiology and neurosurgery, this episode explores how staff are pushing the boundaries of what is possible technologically, at a time when the Trust has a planned annual deficit of £41 million and savings need to be made across the board.
Eddie, a 56-year-old city worker suffering a severe heart attack is treated in one of the cath labs. Eddie's doctor, consultant cardiologist Iqbal Malik comments: "I'm very clear that today he was dead if he hadn't ended up with us and had gone to a smaller hospital where they didn't have a cath lab."
Twenty-three-year-old primary school teacher Rosa has an infection on her mitral valve called endocarditis. Rosa is is an extremely complex case, as some infected tissue from her heart has broken off causing strokes in her brain.
Meanwhile, at Charing Cross Hospital, site of the Trust's specialist neurosurgery department, 28-year-old former dancer Ben needs an operation to remove a recurrent brain tumour.
You can also find out more about the series by:
- reading our latest press releases
- following us on Twitter (@imperialNHS) and following the hashtag #Hospital
- liking us on Facebook
What do you think?
If you have any thoughts or would simply like to submit feedback after watching the documentary you can send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About this page
- Last updated
Ensuring better care and increased efficiency are two sides of the same coin
Episode four of Hospital series two explores how staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are developing new models of care and pushing the boundaries of what's possible technologically, while also making efficiency savings across the board.
How we’re evolving our services to deliver better results for patients
Dr William Oldfield
Here Dr William Oldfield, deputy medical director and respiratory consultant, explains how we want to continue to evolve our services to ensure the latest advances deliver better results for patients.
Behind the statistics: why we need a cultural change in our approach to dementia care
Dr Colin Mitchell
Dr Colin Mitchell, consultant physician and geriatrician at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, explains how acute trusts like ours need to take a new approach to care in the coming years to ensure people with dementia are cared for in the right place at the right time.
Hospital in focus: the role of private healthcare within Imperial College Healthcare
The role of private healthcare within the NHS has never been without controversy. And increasingly, as episode two of the latest series of BBC Two’s Hospital shows, the choice between NHS and private may not always be black and white. Here, the Trust’s director of private healthcare, Nick Fox, explains the role that private care has played in the…
Beyond NHS treatment: Why we support patients to access treatments not offered on the NHS
Dr Catherine Urch
The NHS funds a variety of proven treatments for cancer. But in some cases, patients may wish to explore paying for drugs or treatments that are not available on the NHS. Here Dr Catherine Urch, cancer lead and divisional director for surgery, cancer and cardiovascular at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, explains how and why some patients…
Working in the midst of a major incident: first-hand experience from A&E
Dr Alison Sanders
Dr Alison Sanders, the Trust’s clinical director of urgent care and emergency medicine, explains what happened when a major incident was declared at St Mary’s, one of the capital’s four major trauma centres, on 22 March due to the Westminster Bridge terror attack.
From overseas battlefields to terrorist incidents at home: how specialist major trauma teams are saving lives
Mr Shehan Hettiaratchy
Mr Shehan Hettiaratchy, trauma lead and consultant plastic, hand and reconstructive surgeon at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, explains why advances in major trauma care and plastic and reconstructive surgery mean it’s much more likely that people with traumatic injuries will survive and recover from their injuries than even ten years ago.