Liverpool hoping for nurse recruitment boost from BBC’s Hospital

The programme Hospital is returning to BBC Two for a fourth series, taking viewers behind the scenes of six hospital trusts in the city across six hard-hitting episodes, with the first airing tonight at 9pm.

“It’s always great to have some national TV coverage in terms of showcasing our fantastic nurses”

Phil O’Connor

Filmed between October and December 2018 when services are typically under higher pressure due to the cold weather, the programme will celebrate the extraordinary work of some of Liverpool’s 20,000 NHS staff.

The documentary is set to shed a light on the modern challenges of working in the health service and on the complexities of the decisions nurses and other care professionals have to make every day.

Nursing chiefs have told Nursing Times they also hope the exposure will help to boost nurse recruitment. 

The documentary crew visited the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, home to the biggest emergency department of its kind in the country, the world famous Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and the Walton Centre, the only dedicated spinal, neuroscience and pain management trust in the UK.

“Their commitment and compassion shines through – something which we see every day”

Colin Hont

It also covers the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, the country’s only specialist trust that provides care to women and babies, Aintree University Hospital with its world class major trauma centre, and the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, the first “outstanding” rated specialist trust in the country.

Phil O’Connor, deputy director of nursing at Alder Hey, told Nursing Times: “I think from our point of view it’s always great to have some national TV coverage in terms of showcasing our fantastic nurses.”

Mr O’Connor described Hospital as a “warts and all” documentary about day-to-day life in the NHS. He added taking part in the programme was also a good opportunity to “increase our already fantastic and great nursing workforce”.

While noting that the trust was not struggling with recruitment following the completion of the new hospital site in 2015, he said it was not the time to “rest on our laurels”.

“You should never miss an opportunity to showcase your organisation, particularly showing what a fantastic trust it is to work in, and hopefully that will also encourage youngsters to consider a career in nursing whilst also encouraging people in nursing from other areas to consider coming to work with us here at Alder Hey,” he said.

Colin Hont, director of nursing at the Royal Liverpool, told Nursing Times: “Alongside illustrating many of the challenges our trust faces, Hospital also highlights the first class care our staff give to their patients around the clock.

“Their commitment and compassion shines through – something which we see every day, and it is fantastic to be able to showcase this,” he added. 

Mr Hont said he hoped the programme would demonstrate that the trust was a “really great place to work”. “I think staff will get a real boost watching themselves and their colleagues,” he added.

Patrick Holland, the channel controller of BBC Two who commissioned Hospital, said the programmed explored the “most important issues of the frontline of the NHS this winter”.

“We are tremendously proud of this unique series on BBC Two, it combines brilliant documentary making with a commitment to get the stories of patients and clinicians on air as soon as possible after filming,” he added.

“No other series is capable of telling the drama of the human stories whilst also illuminating the complexity of the issues at play,” Mr Holland said.

Hospital was co-produced with the Open University and made by television company, Label1.

The series has previously been filmed at the Imperial College Healthcare Trust London and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.