Press Centre


  • Episode: 

    1 of 4

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 25 Jun 2015
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 26 2015 : Sat 20 Jun - Fri 26 Jun
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

The information contained herein is strictly embargoed from all press, online and social media use, non-commercial publication, or syndication until Tuesday 16 June 2015.
“When they’re up, walking, ready for home, that is it for me. I fill up. When they’re hugging you and thanking you. There’s no better reward really. That’s when you think, ‘Yes, we’ve done well there’.” Jayne, sister, liver ward
Every day 10,000 people pass through the doors of the Royal Derby Hospital – a place where lives begin and lives are saved every day. Behind every life-changing moment is an extraordinary team of over 8000 staff, each one dependent on the next. From the surgeons to the sweepers, the consultants to the caterers, this heart-warming and emotional series tells their stories, in their own words. 
Across four episodes we meet some of the hospital’s unseen heroes from a variety of different departments and specialised areas, to learn more about the real people behind the roles. How they engage with their patients, the challenges they face and how some cope with the responsibility of life and death on a daily basis.
In episode one, Jayne starts her morning shift as sister on the liver ward. Many of the patients suffer from problems caused by alcohol, making it a challenging ward to work on a some patients are suffering with the symptoms of withdrawal and can become aggressive.
Jayne says: “Patients that have got damaged livers from alcohol, we’re giving them the opportunity to start the healing process by putting them on a detox. I like nursing patients like this, I know it could happen to all of us.” 
Jayne is concerned about a patient on alcohol detox. 47-year-old Zehir went missing from the ward overnight for several hours and Jayne fears he has been drinking, in which case the doctors may refuse to treat him further. They test Zehir using a breathalyser. 
Meanwhile, the car parking team are struggling to keep the traffic arriving at the hospital moving and dealing with a consultant’s car that has rolled over a bank and needs towing back. 
With the number of patients increasing all the time, the busiest part of the hospital is A&E, where they regularly see 30-35 patients an hour. Today, Dan is the consultant in charge of resus, where the most severe emergency cases are treated.
Dan says: “Part of the reason I’ve done this job is because it’s varied, it’s unpredictable. And I think it’s also chosen me because my attention span is short, and I think most of my colleagues would agree with that and most of my family would agree!”
“Anything can happen from a sprained finger to a car crash and multiple people dying. It is a pressurised environment, if I said it wasn’t scary then I’d be lying.”
Dan treats a patient called Michael, 20, who is unconscious and fitting. After sending Michael for a CT scan on his brain, he learns from Michael’s family that he has drunk more than a litre of polish vodka that day. Ten per cent of all patients in the hospital are there because of alcohol induced illness or injury. 
Dan says: “The massive fear for me and the fear that I have from day to day and when I go home at night is, ‘Have I missed anything?’ Have I missed something that will make that patient have a poor outcome? That is a fear that we all have.”
After arriving at A&E with a minor heart problem, 65-year-old Eric goes into cardiac arrest and Dan and his team move quickly to re-start his heart.  
After reassuring Eric’s distraught wife, Dan later admits: “He was actually quite lucky. For that 90 seconds he died. Re-starting someone’s heart and getting them back to life, that should affect you. My Dad’s had various heart problems and that could easily have been him. But I think the minute it didn’t affect me would be the minute I’d think be thinking I’m doing the wrong job.” 
Later, Dan visits Eric on the ward to see how he is. Dan says: “If you can find a job that’s almost a vocation rather than a career, and that you leave each day thinking you’ve done a good job, then you’ve kind of almost cracked half your life I think.” 
In the chemotherapy suite, 54-year-old nurse Caroline treats up to 16 cancer patients on every shift. 
She says: “This environment is unique, it’s the only place where you get to know your patients really well. You really do get to chat and have the craic with them.”
Cancer patient Zoie is undergoing her third course of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer six years ago. Zoie has just one more session left before she finds out of the treatment is working or whether the cancer has spread. Zoie admits she has sorted her funeral, to the surprise of her son who accompanies her to the hospital.  
Caroline says: “It does affect me. When I see them struggling I want to cry. But I think, ‘I will not cry’, because I’m not helping them. The best way to be with a patient is supportive…You must never, ever take away hope from a cancer patient. There is always hope.”
Caroline is keen to wait for Zoie after her results and is thrilled to hear good news. 
Caroline says: “You learn cancer patients feel privileged to be alive every day and we should be too. I’ve started to look at sunsets in the sky and the trees and the seasons. Appreciating the small things in life.”
Back on the liver ward, Jayne does the drugs round. Three days earlier James was brought to the hospital after collapsing from binge drinking. It is his 51st birthday but he admits he’s got no one to visit him. Jayne washes and shaves James, telling him: “You’ll go off from here looking like a film star.” 
Jayne says: “I think he’s very lonely. And I think this is the problem with a lot of our patients. When someone does show them kindness it does affect them, because that’s the real person you’re getting to.”
James says: “About a year ago my mum died so obviously it hit me pretty hard. I couldn’t look after myself or my dog. I’m at a quandary at the moment, whether to give up or try again.  Hopefully they’re trying to make me try again.”
Jayne has worked in the NHS for 40 years and ten years ago she took charge of the liver ward. 
She says: “I chose to work on this ward and it was like I knew straight away, that’s where I belong…You don’t want patients, not all the time, where you got to be so politically correct. Some of them can misbehave and you have to threaten them with a backhander but they respond well to that behaviour!”
The hospital is holding an awards ceremony to celebrate staff with 40 years service but Jayne isn’t keen: 
“I’m not going, It’s ain’t my scene is it. The thing is you don’t need a blimmin certificate to say you’ve been working for the NHS for 40 years, I can draw my own certificate…You’ll have some right old fuddy duddies there.” 
Jane’s team decide to surprise her on the ward with their own low key version of the presentation ceremony and she is moved to tears:
“A lot of people say it’s sad that I spend a lot of time here. I don’t think it’s sad. I enjoy the company here. I enjoy having the laugh. Yeah, sometimes at home it can be lonely. It is like a family…I’m proud of 40 years but I’m not ready to put out to grass yet.”