The Big Hospital Experiment – BBC2

The Big Hospital Experiment, a new four-part series on BBC2, sees 14 young volunteers spend six weeks delivering patient care on the NHS frontline at Royal Derby Hospital

Feeling like they can’t give their patients the time and care they’d like to, nursing staff at The Royal Derby Hospital have embarked on an experiment to try to redress the balance.

The volunteer carers outside The Royal Derby Hospital

Ready to serve: Volunteers: Deborah Olubiyi, Beth Etheridge, Will Muncey, Michael Lowe, Poppy Pierce, Eddie Caucau, Angel Morris, Piotr Burdalski, Charlotte Buck, Finlay Roberts, Erik Hax, Alishba Dar, Emma Davies outside The Royal Derby Hospital

For six weeks, 14 volunteers aged 18-24 are helping nurses on the wards – from hourly patient checks to washing, feeding and chatting to those in need.

While some take to caring easily, others find it overwhelming.

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The nurses think one volunteer is ‘too posh to wash’, as he struggles with the hands-on personal care required by some patients.

Volunteer Angel Morris, Sister Marie Allsop and Poppy Pierce in Birth Ward

Volunteer Angel Morris, Sister Marie Allsop and Poppy Pierce in Birth Ward

It’s a very steep learning curve, but by the end of the week it’s heartening to see the change in the young volunteers.

TV Times rating: ****