Crackit Productions has produced a new documentary series for Channel 5, looking at what life is like for staff working the night shift at A&E departments across the UK, it was announced today.
Filmed before the Covid-19 outbreak, and with unprecedented access to Hull Royal Infirmary, A&E: After Dark is a six-part series, starting on Channel 5, Monday, June 1st at 9pm, giving viewers a sense of the reality of life in A&E departments with exclusive, no-holds barred content. At a time when NHS staff have never been more appreciated by the public, this series shows the night-time challenges facing NHS staff in a working environment.
From confrontations to everyday accidents, the series shows viewers what front of house and medical staff have to deal with on a nightshift. Drug and alcohol related admissions increase, resulting in aggression, abuse and disruption for staff. The security team, as well as the local police force, are integral to keeping patients and staff safe. Factor in the pressure of road traffic collisions which are more serious after dark, with the added impact of the elderly, who are at their most vulnerable at night.
Elaine Hackett, CEO at Crackit said: “Filmed before the Covid-19 crisis, this series looks at the many incidents NHS night staff, not just in Hull, but throughout the country, have to deal with on a daily basis. From traffic accidents to drunken disasters, fights and drug-related admissions, this is a gritty, moving documentary that will show viewers the pressures NHS staff are constantly under.”
The series follows previous commissions from Crackit Productions who have gained access to many A&E departments including three series of Casualty 24/7; a series for Channel 5 following the day-to-day running of an A&E unit in Barnsley Hospital; and two series of BBC One’s Secret Life of the Hospital Bed, an access series to eight NHS hospitals.
Elaine Hackett continued: “The prism of a nightshift within A&E delivers a completely different working dynamic. It’s a shift that relies on three organisations – the NHS, the Police and independent security forces battling together to keep staff and patients safe. We worked closely with the dedicated staff and Hull residents, and we also witnessed the night shift in full swing, where, as happens in far too many UK hospitals, incidents triggered by drugs, drink and criminal behaviour regularly caused disruption to an already overstretched A&E department. We hope our filming will bring the challenges facing the NHS to Channel 5 viewers and beyond, and create conversation and debate about the incredible work of the NHS and its staff.”
Teresa Cope, Chief Operating Officer at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “A&E: After Dark has given us an opportunity to show the work our incredible teams do in delivering care to patients 24-hours a day 7-days a week. It’s true that our teams have to deal with some difficult circumstances at times but we know that as a Trust and a city we are no different to anywhere else and, in fact, our staff experience less trouble than staff in other A&E departments and in other areas.
“A&E can be unpredictable – you do not know what is going to come through the door next, and every patient has their own story to tell. They might be new parents, recently bereaved, had too much to drink, be experiencing mental health distress, or been involved in a major road traffic collision – but to our staff they all deserve and receive the highest level of care. We’ve enjoyed being part of this programme and we hope that people can see and appreciate how remarkable our staff are every day of the year.