For media>>Press releases

The Royal London’s A&E and HEMS staff featured in BBC series Trauma

31 March 2004

BBC Trauma groupNext week sees the start of a 10-week BBC series called Trauma, which features both the Accident and Emergency Department at The Royal London Hospital and the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), which operates from a helipad above the hospital. The programmes follow nurses, doctors and paramedics during their shifts, who explain what they are doing every step of the way, giving viewers a great insight into the service they provide.

The BBC production team, who spent two months filming at the hospital, worked very closely with hospital staff to ensure that the project ran smoothly without affecting patient care. Approximately 650 patients agreed to be filmed, which has resulted in many poignant, inspiring stories in the programmes.

Commenting on the programmes, Dr Gareth Davies, consultant in emergency medicine and pre-hospital care, said: "Taking part in Trauma was a great opportunity to draw attention to the many unique services available at The Royal London. Patients who have suffered a trauma receive consultant-delivered care - from roadside with HEMS, into the emergency room, theatres and intensive care. Many of the hospital’s specialists have a major interest in trauma medicine and this helps us attract staff from a national and international pool.

The A&E Department has a long history of innovation and its key strength is teamwork where all the professional groups and specialties are interdependent.

HEMS - both with the aircraft and fast response cars - provide unique and very complex cases that rarely present to other hospitals. This, along with the hospital’s trauma expertise interested the BBC for this series and equally we welcomed the opportunity to have this area of work recognised."

A&E senior sister Elaine Cole said: "The programmes gave us the opportunity to portray just how diverse and exciting emergency nursing can be as well as showing the clinical and teamwork skills that emergency nurses possess.

I was initially worried about how intrusive it would be but once the film crew had been with me for a couple of hours, I completely forgot about the camera. The crew were incredible - really sensitive and they enjoyed talking to the staff and patients. Lots of the patients were excited about the filming. They’d say ‘ooh, I should have put my makeup on!"

Dr Davies and Elaine Cole both feature in Trauma, which will be broadcast on BBC One at 8pm on Thursday nights from 8 April. Digital viewers will be able to gain an added perspective with complementary programmes on BBC Three, where the audience will be able to see the rest of the shift up-close and with added stories. Trauma on Three will run at 9pm also on Thursday nights from 8 April. Both series run for ten weeks.

Contact: Marie Mangan/Helen Riley, 020 7480 4891 or Romina Bartholomeusz, 020 7480 4892

- ENDS -

Notes for editors

Photo attached - caption: A&E and HEMS staff featured in BBC Trauma - from left to right: A&E consultant Dr Gareth Davies, A&E senior sister Elaine Cole, A&E senior sister Toni Lynch, HEMS Registrar Dr Andy Ratchford.

  • The A&E Department at The Royal London is constantly looking for ways to improve patient care. Recent innovations include the Treatment Initiation Scheme (TIS), which has empowered many of the professional groups - radiographers, nurses, and porters beyond their normal duties. The department also has long ensured that there is a 24-hour consultant presence.
  • The hospital Trauma Team - a multi-disciplinary team of nurses, doctors, surgeons, anesthetists and radiographers - assemble in the resuscitation room of A&E ready to continue the critical care of a patient who may have been brought in via HEMS or by the London Ambulance Service.
  • The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) carries an experienced trauma doctor and paramedic to the scene of serious accidents. It takes the hospital to the patient and gives them the best possible chance of recovery and survival. Patients are then taken to the hospital best equipped to deal with their injuries. The HEMS helicopter can reach anywhere within the M25 within minutes and their highly skilled pilots identify suitable landing sites to get the medical team to the patient as quickly as possible. HEMS operates seven days a week in daylight hours from a helipad above the A&E Department at The Royal London Hospital. It serves the whole of Greater London and attends approximately 1000 incidents a year. HEMS Fast Response Cars also carry doctor and paramedic teams to traumas and medical emergencies.

< Back