The award-winning Hospital returns to Merseyside to chart the day-to-day life of six NHS Trusts across Liverpool, whose hospitals have a catchment area covering more than two and a half million people, stretching beyond the city to North Wales and the Isle of Man.
Filmed this winter, as A&E waiting times hit their highest ever recorded levels and exceptional demand is placing the NHS under severe pressure, Hospital is the story of the health service in unprecedented times.
Three years after it was due to open Liverpool’s brand new, state-of-the-art Royal Liverpool Hospital remains unfinished, following the collapse of the building contractor Carillion at the beginning of 2018. With the subsequent discovery of serious structural problems, the building is now not due to open until 2022.
Despite the new hospital not yet being ready, an ambitious merger of Liverpool’s two biggest hospital Trusts – The Royal Liverpool and Aintree University Hospital – is going ahead. The aim is to improve patient care by removing duplication of services.
With both hospitals at capacity, A&E busy and emergencies arriving that need life-saving surgery, a complicated jigsaw ensues. Hundreds of patients, staff and state-of-the-art equipment are transported across the City, and 11 of the old Royal’s 12 operating theatres are closed for 24 hours.
But an emergency call comes in: a patient with just a 50/50 chance of survival, and potentially just minutes to live, needs life-saving surgery to repair a burst aortic aneurysm. As 74 year-old David’s situation is so critical, there’s no time for a last goodbye to his family.
Meanwhile, 91 year-old Ron, who slipped and fell, has arrived at The Royal with a suspected hip fracture – but the hospital is no longer supposed to be taking orthopaedic patients. Ron needs immediate life-saving surgery, without which he may not survive.
And in critical care at old The Royal, Blessing, a 27 year-old mum of two is seriously ill with Lupus, an incurable auto-immune disease. She has developed sepsis, which could kill her, but she’s too ill to follow the move to Aintree for an orthopaedic operation, and the equipment the clinicians need for her operation has already gone to Aintree.
Hospital – Thursday at 9.00pm on BBC Two.