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Hospital – BBC2

(Image credit: BBC/Label1/Ryan Mcnamara)

BBC2’s documentary series Hospital returns and a cash-saving merger brings its fair share of problems for the patients and staff at Liverpool’s NHS trusts

As if our hardworking NHS staff don’t have enough to deal with, they’re trying to cope with the stress of a cash-saving restructure in the first of a new series of BBC2’s Hospital.

All but one of The Royal Hospital Liverpool’s 12 operating theatres are closed for the day, but within minutes 74-year-old cab driver David is admitted with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which could kill him.

It’s so urgent that the surgical team have as little as 10 minutes to deal with it.

‘With a ruptured aneurysm, approximately 50% of patients will die before they reach hospital,’ says consultant anaesthetist Maria Safar.

‘Once they get to hospital, around 35% will die.

‘It’s a massive operation – it’s life or death.’

The only open theatre is quickly cleared and prepped and consultant Francesco Torella and his team get to work.

Yet David isn’t the only one affected by the restructure.

Orthopaedic surgeon Simon Scott Hospital

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Simon Scott has his work cut out, as we see in BBC2’s Hospital

The Royal’s orthopaedic trauma department has been relocated five miles away to Aintree Hospital.

But ambulance crews have accidentally brought 91-year-old Ron to the Royal with a suspected hip fracture.

Meanwhile, Blessing, 27, must also undergo life-saving surgery to flush out a sepsis infection in her knee.

But she’s too unwell to be transferred to Aintree, so on-call surgeon Kassia has no choice but to operate at the Royal, despite a lack of vital equipment.

Fortunately, David’s urgent life-saving operation is a success.

‘We’ve repaired the aneurysm and the aorta has been replaced with a tube of fabric,’ explains Professor Torella.

‘He has a very good chance of recovery.’

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TV Times rating: ***