Series 5 focuses on the day-to-day life in hospitals including the Royal, Alder Hey and Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital at Broad Green and the incredible job that staff at all of them do.
It’s the second time production company Label1 has chosen Liverpool for filming, after previously featuring the Imperial College Healthcare Trust London and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
The last series put the spotlight on the heroes of the NHS, changing and saving lives every day In our city, as well as the patients on the receiving end of their care.
More than two million people tuned in each week to follow the real-life stories and dramas as they unfolded in series 4 and the show didn’t just bring viewers to tears, it actually had an even more lasting impact.
One episode featuring deceased and living organ donation, an attempted neonatal donation and an interview with a Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation saw an incredible response from viewers at home which resulted in a 2,218% surge in the number of people signing up to be organ donors.
Filming for this latest series took place over autumn/winter last year when A&E waiting times hit their highest ever levels and hospital staff were working under exceptional pressures. Episodes are edited and broadcast within weeks of filming.
Here’s everything you need to know about Series 5 …
When did the new series start?
The first episode went out on Thursday on BBC2 at 9pm so if you missed it, it’s now available on iPlayer. It’s the first of eight episodes in this series.
Which hospitals will feature in series 5?
Filming took place at the Royal, which has the largest A&E department in the country, at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, the Walton Centre, Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Aintree University Hospital and the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital at Broad Green.
Without too many spoilers, what happened in episode one?
The opening episode looked at the impact on patients and staff of the delays to the new state-of-the-art Royal Hospital after the collapse of building contractor Carillion at the beginning of 2018. With the old Royal and Aintree both at capacity, A&E super-busy and emergencies arriving in need of life-saving surgery, this episode reveals the reality of a life-or-death juggling act.
Just as the Royal takes the decision to close 11 of 12 operating theatres for 24 hours so specialist services can be reorganised, an urgent 999 call comes in. 74-year-old David needs surgery to repair a burst aortic aneurism and he’s so critical he’s given just a 50/50 chance of survival.
In critical care at the Royal, 27-year-old mum-of-two Blessing is seriously ill with Lupus and has developed sepsis, a serious knee infection, which could kill her. She’s too ill to go to Aintree for an orthopaedic operation … but the equipment the surgeons need for her op has already been moved.
How about episode two?
Episode two will be shown on BBC2 on Thursday February 20. This time it’s Aintree Hospital’s major trauma centre in the spotlight when a 15-strong team battle to save the life of a young man who’s just arrived by emergency helicopter after being stabbed in the chest. There’s a race against time as he’s rushed for surgery – one of three stabbings to arrive at the hospital in just one day.
Back at the Royal, one of its ‘frequent fliers’ – patients who keep coming back – is given an ultimatum … after 139 incidents of aggression towards staff, he’s warned to stop the abuse or face a one-year ban.
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