A NEW documentary series will see millions of television viewers tuning in to see Southampton medics saving the lives of some of the most seriously injured patients flown into the city hospital.
At a time when controversies within the NHS have shaken the nation’s confidence in the system, the man in charge of the city’s major trauma unit at the centre of the programme hopes it will restore the public’s faith.
Having seen some exclusive clips from the show, Dr Andy Eynon admits that he found it very “humbling” to watch the astonishing work his colleagues do on a daily basis, with very little recognition.
Saving lives is part of the everyday routine for those working in the Major Trauma Centre, which receives more than 600 patients through its doors a year, suffering from life- or limb-threatening injuries.
This two-part documentary series gives an insight into their world and how patients facing the most serious injuries are given the best chance of survival once they leave the accident and emergency department.
Dr Eynon, director of the major trauma centre at Southampton General Hospital, said: “I think it is an accurate portrayal of what we do. It is warts and all.
“It just shows the astounding skills of people, both in pre-hospital support and in the hospital.
“It is very humbling for me to see my colleagues in action, because it is not something I get to see, usually. They don’t seek recognition for it, they just see it as their jobs.
“This is the kind of attitude that flows right through the health service but very few people get to see.”
Trauma: Level 1 will first air on ITV on September 3, with a second hour-long episode on September 10, and will also screen the work of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, which flies many of the patients to the major trauma unit, and South Central Ambulance Service.
The film crew had access to everything during a two-month period earlier this year, whether it was in the operating theatre or in intensive care, as long as the patients, their families and staff gave their consent.
Dr Eynon added: “It is very emotional to watch, even for someone like me who works here.
“In one of the episodes it shows a surgeon open up the chest of a young boy to save his life and when they speak to the surgeon afterwards he simply says ‘I think I did a good job today’. I had to go and find him to shake his hand because I was so struck by what he had done.
“This show is not about showcasing people in the hospital, but what it does show is how the NHS can be.
“These people do an amazing job day after day and get very little thanks for it.
“Medics don’t ask to be rewarded but I think this is a great opportunity to see the skill, effort and passion that these people put in every day.
“There are some days you go home and give your children an extra hug and tell your wife how much you love her because of what you have seen at work that day.
“And this programme shows just how emotional it is for staff. They get on with the job at the time but it is only when you walk away and realise what has just happened and how close somebody came to losing their life.
“I hope this is a little way of saying thank you for all their hard work and I hope families see what their loved ones do at work and while they may have missed a family birthday or their child’s school play, this is the important work they were doing instead.”