The Big Hospital Experiment - BBC2

Volunteer Finlay Roberts, Senior Nurse Karen Hill and volunteer Michael Lowe in Elderly Ward at The Royal Derby Hospital
(Image credit: BBC/Blast! Films/Ryan McNamara)

The Big Hospital Experiment, a new four-part series on BBC2, sees 14 young volunteers spend six weeks delivering patient care on the NHS frontline at Royal Derby Hospital

Feeling like they can’t give their patients the time and care they’d like to, nursing staff at The Royal Derby Hospital have embarked on an experiment to try to redress the balance.

The volunteer carers outside The Royal Derby Hospital

Ready to serve: Volunteers: Deborah Olubiyi, Beth Etheridge, Will Muncey, Michael Lowe, Poppy Pierce, Eddie Caucau, Angel Morris, Piotr Burdalski, Charlotte Buck, Finlay Roberts, Erik Hax, Alishba Dar, Emma Davies outside The Royal Derby Hospital

For six weeks, 14 volunteers aged 18-24 are helping nurses on the wards – from hourly patient checks to washing, feeding and chatting to those in need.

While some take to caring easily, others find it overwhelming.

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The nurses think one volunteer is ‘too posh to wash’, as he struggles with the hands-on personal care required by some patients.

Volunteer Angel Morris, Sister Marie Allsop and Poppy Pierce in Birth Ward

Volunteer Angel Morris, Sister Marie Allsop and Poppy Pierce in Birth Ward

It’s a very steep learning curve, but by the end of the week it’s heartening to see the change in the young volunteers.

TV Times rating: ****

Mandy Cooper
TV Times Highlights Editor

As TV Times Highlights Editor I get to hear about all the latest TV shows coming soon. Here at TVT HQ we are in the privileged position of selecting the best programmes from across all the channels and streaming platforms. Our mission is to make it easier for our readers to decide what to watch - and give them lots of choice of genres - all the latest shows, plus some nostalgic choices we call hidden gems, too. My career began with a postgraduate degree in periodical journalism (ahem, yes old school!) in 1991 and I’ve worked in TV media since 2000.