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'True story' of worst winter to feature in third series of TV show

A new series of BBC documentary, Hospital will reveal the full effects the latest winter crisis has had on the NHS

A new series of BBC documentary, Hospital will reveal the full effects the latest winter crisis has had on the NHS

A matron who appears in a behind-the-scenes BBC documentary says the cameras are showing the true story of the worst winter crisis in 30 years.

Series three of BBC1's Hospital, which began this week, shows staff at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust trying to cope with the demands of Januarys winter crisis.

15-hour waits

In the emergency department of Queens Medical Centre, more than 30 patients were shown crammed into every space, some waiting as long as 15 hours to be seen.

Respiratory services matron Bev Brady spent four days with the film crew in January and says her forthcoming scenes will show a similar picture.

In scenes

A new series of BBC documentary, Hospital will reveal the full effects the latest winter crisis has had on the NHS


Marc Cole, who features in the new series. Picture: BBC

A matron who appears in a behind-the-scenes BBC documentary says the cameras are showing the true story of the worst winter crisis in 30 years.

Series three of BBC1's Hospital, which began this week, shows staff at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust trying to cope with the demands of January’s winter crisis.

15-hour waits

In the emergency department of Queen’s Medical Centre, more than 30 patients were shown crammed into every space, some waiting as long as 15 hours to be seen.

Respiratory services matron Bev Brady spent four days with the film crew in January and says her forthcoming scenes will show a similar picture.

In scenes to be aired later in the series, Ms Brady will be shown attempting to prepare her service for an influx of patients following an outbreak of influenza.

'Juggling demands'

Speaking to Nursing Standard following the first episode of the new series she said: ‘The crew filmed our admissions pathway, focusing on how pressured the service is and how we juggled the demand for extra capacity.

‘I’ve been a nurse 30 years, 17 of them in respiratory services and I can honestly say this winter was the worst I’ve ever experienced'

‘We had to take over two surgical wards to manage demand.'

She added: ‘I’ve been a nurse 30 years, 17 of them in respiratory services and I can honestly say this winter was the worst I’ve ever experienced.

‘We usually expect a rise of 40-60% in winter, but this was relentless. We’re in a small lull now, but we know it’s going to get bad again at Easter time and our staff expect to be under constant pressure.

‘They have to make decisions to move patients to manage demand, and this does not sit well with them as they know it is not in the best interests of the patients. It is soul-destroying for them.’

In the first episode aired on 26 March, emergency department charge nurse Claire Reay spoke of the impact of capacity issues on the health service.

She told the cameras: ‘Where there’s space, there will be a trolley’.

Relocated site

As operations had to be cancelled in order to manage the backlog the documentary – which relocated after two series at London’s Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – showed additional problems managing patient discharge.

Dementia ward nurse Marc Cole told the cameras: ‘A lot of people think the front door is where the problems are with the NHS.

‘But the biggest problem is the back door and trying to get people out is just as difficult.’

Catch up with series three of Hospital via the BBC iPlayer


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