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Keeping Britain Alive: the NHS in a Day

Keeping Britain Alive: the NHS in a Day

Tue Mar 26, 9-10pm, BBC2

By Yolanda Zappaterra
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Series one, episode one
The stats are impressive: every day 1.5million of us are treated by the NHS, making it the largest public healthcare system in the world. The scope of this new eight-part series is equally striking: 100 cameras capturing the human experience over the course of a single day, across the breadth of the UK.

By following the lives and treatment of a handful of patients, we’re plunged into a range of stories that instantly connect us to the action and emotional impact of healthcare. People of all ages, from toddlers dealing with tumours to the delightfully stoical and sweet 90-year-old Jeanette facing the end of her life, reveal, as you’d expect, a range of emotions – fear, bitterness, frustration, anxiety, hope, despair, and terror. But above all, they’re grateful for what one consultant describes as ‘a care blanket that looks after us all’.

Such a rich mix conveys the genuine tension inherent in stories such as that of Lynn, going in for a fairly standard procedure, and Graham, who’s collapsed at work, paralysed and unable to speak. Genuine edge-of-your-seat viewing. It’ll make mincemeat of ‘Casualty’.
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