Channel 4's Emergency documentary returns this August

Staff from the Trust's major trauma pathway and emergency department will feature in the second series of Emergency, which will launch next Tuesday (15 August) on Channel 4. Three further episodes will follow on Wednesday 16, Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 August.

The documentary series is about London's major trauma system, and follows the minute-by-minute decisions trauma teams make to treat patients with the most severe injuries: from life-saving interventions at the road-side to A&E critical care, from cutting-edge surgery to painstaking rehabilitation.

Filming took place in July 2022 by filmmakers who were embedded within London's four major trauma centres, including at St Mary's Hospital, as well as within London's Ambulance Service, London's Air Ambulance Charity and two trauma units.

London’s major trauma network launched in 2010, as the first of its kind, as a response to continued poor outcomes for trauma patients in the UK compared to other countries in Europe, the US and Australia. It is a network of 39 hospitals made up of 4 major trauma centres and 35 trauma units, ambulance services and air ambulance services. Since its inception, survival rates for those with major trauma have more than doubled and the network has also helped to improve outcomes for patients through the care they receive, both to treat the injuries and rehabilitate them to return to their lives.  

The major trauma network in London has been a vital part of the response to incidents such as the Grenfell disaster and the London Bridge and Westminster Bridge attacks, as well as part of the preparation for major events such as the London 2012 Olympics.  

Chris Jordan, consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon, who features in the documentary, said: "Most people don’t ever think about what might happen to them or a loved one if disaster strikes, hopefully this series give people a glimpse into the system that is ready to catch them should they be unfortunate enough to need it."

Laura Burgess, clinical specialist and lead physiotherapist amputee rehabilitation, was also part of the documentary and said: "I hope people watching the documentary will come to understand the huge team across so many different professions/occupations that it takes to care for and rehabilitate a young person following life changing trauma. You never know it may inspire people to go in to physiotherapy as a profession!"

Shehan Hettiaratchy, trauma director, said: “The whole point of the network is not just to save lives, that's just not enough. We want to give people their lives back, which is a much more difficult thing. From the moment they are injured to the moment they go back into their life, the major trauma pathway is continuous, with critical elements and teams across the hospitals delivering different but equally important parts of care throughout.”

Watch the documentary at 9pm on Channel 4 on 15, 16, 22 and 23 August or on demand via the Channel 4 website/app.