BBC’s Hospital saw NHS staff face agonising decisions

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BBC Two documentary Hospital aired its first episode last night (January 11), as viewers were left completely heartbroken – and in awe of the NHS staff forced to make tough, life-changing decisions.

Following the story of a number of patients in need of life-saving surgery at St Mary’s Hospital in London, the documentary shed light on the dilemma doctors face when prioritising treatment and keeping patients safe.

Last night’s episode saw Dr Simon Ashworth, head of the Intensive Care Unit, and the hospital’s site director Lesley Powls struggle to find enough beds to cater for seriously ill and recovering patients.

With only one bed available in Intensive Care, staff were forced to choose who would receive the surgery they needed: oesophageal cancer patient Simon, or Janice, an elderly woman with a ruptured blood vessel.

Related: Unlikely hero Piers Morgan takes down Jeremy Hunt over NHS “humanitarian crisis” on Good Morning Britain

Although Simon had seen his operation cancelled once before, staff made the decision to operate on Janice – who has since made a full recovery.

Simon had his surgery the next day, which was also deemed a success, but sadly passed away a few weeks later after contracting a blood and autoimmune disorder.

Despite the distressing scenes, viewers turned to Twitter to praise the NHS, as well as the BBC for airing such an “honest” take on the situations many hospitals across the country are faced with.

If Theresa May says there’s nothing wrong with NHS she should watch #hospital. Daily struggles the teams face is apparent & heartbreaking 💔

– Parveen Agnihotri (@Parveen_Comms) January 11, 2017

#hospital to lady with the blonde curly hair who goes home & cries sometimes: you’re doing an amazing job keeping things going. Don’t stop.

– matthew cole (@CattyMole) January 11, 2017

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Hospital continues next Wednesday (December 18) at 9pm on BBC Two.