News & Media

TV’s Hospital:”It’s like playing an impossible jigsaw.”


Can primary care help secondary care with some of the pieces?

Each week stories in the news highlight pressures the NHS is facing. Most commonly mentioned is the lack of hospital beds and an ageing population. Reading the stories gives us some idea of how day-to-day hospitals around the country are coping. However, seeing it “as it’s happening” and listening to doctors and nurses talk about the struggles gives us a whole new perspective.

BBC2’s documentary Hospital is back in Liverpool following several of the city’s trusts. Each week the programme features a different area of the NHS showing the intense pressure, frustration and demands that the NHS is under whilst also showing how their cutting-edge treatments are saving lives. 

The show begins with The Royal Liverpool Hospital, which intended to move to their new building in 2017, but due to infrastructure and construction issues, they’ve been unable to do so. Staff are struggling to maintain services, but with no space, facilities are moving to try to create space for patients. Staff are finding trying to locate beds, discharge patients, and ensure they have additional space for emergency patients, a near-impossible puzzle.

How can we create space?

Secondary care services are usually based in a hospital or clinic, though some services are increasingly community-based being held in GP surgeries, walk in-centre buildings and day surgery units.  The lack of beds creates problems for all aspects of healthcare, so creating services that offer an alternative to a hospital stay is a win for staff and patients. 

Many of our buildings provide clinics for patients that previously would have taken place in a hospital. By holding them in GP premises, patients have found that they’re closer to home and in a community environment. 

Oldham Dialysis Unit.

Oldham Dialysis Unit opened in 2014. The centre provided a state-of-the-art renal unit for patients who would typically have to visit hospital up to three times a week. Oldham Dialysis Unit offers a more convenient treatment for over 60 patients who no longer need to travel to Salford Hospital. For those that can’t travel to Oldham, Salford Hospital has a satellite clinic just outside. 

Eagle Bridge Health and Wellbeing Centre.

In October 2015, sexual health services were moved from Leighton Hospital to Eagle Bridge Health and Wellbeing Centre. 

Frome Medical Practice. 

Frome Medical Practice has a range of services which are provided by both the hospital and local trust. Clinics currently provided by the Royal United Hospital are audiology, care of the elderly, dermatology, ENT, neurology, orthopaedic, orthotics, paediatrics and urology.