No-holds-barred documentary filmed in Northampton General Hospital to shine light on 'immense pressure' faced by junior doctors

Dr Sam Pollen, who works on the Collingtree ward, said he agreed to be filmed as he believes the NHS to be under a "very real and significant imminent threat".
Dr Sam Pollen, who works on the Collingtree ward, said he agreed to be filmed as he believes the NHS to be under a "very real and significant imminent threat".
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A gritty new documentary that saw film crews gain unparalleled access to Northampton General Hospital is set to give warts-and-all account of life as a junior doctor in the NHS.

Confessions of a Junior Doctor, set to premiere on Channel Four tonight, follows the plight of the hospital's 210 young medical professionals as they go about their working day.

Dr Pollen said staff regularly struggle to get through their daily workload within their shift hours.

Dr Pollen said staff regularly struggle to get through their daily workload within their shift hours.

Show producers claim the hospital bosses opened their doors to the film crews to show how the hospital – and the juniors they support – are working "against the odds" amid increasing pressures on the NHS.

A spokeswoman for Northampton General Hospital said: “We believe the series portrays the reality of being a junior doctor in today’s NHS and gives a human perspective on how it feels to be a doctor in training.

"Through the series, one can see that, as they deliver healthcare, our junior doctors are also provided with support to learn, grow and develop.

"At the same time the series does portray a hospital under immense pressure – there is no hiding the reality. This clearly impacts on everyone but we believe the series shows that, even when the hospital is incredibly busy, the team on the ground keeps patients safe.”

Confessions of a Junior Doctor is set to start on Channel Four tonight.

Confessions of a Junior Doctor is set to start on Channel Four tonight.

Series director, Will Lorimer, said: "It was staggering to see how hard these doctors work and the pressure they are under.

"Everybody knows the NHS is stretched, but these doctors are the ones right there at the coal face.

"This series is very timely because these young people are the consultants of tomorrow – what happens to them will affect all of us.”

Executive producer Grace Reynolds, added: "Junior doctors have been in the headlines a great deal over the past year, but this has come with much confusion and with little understanding of the real life stories behind these headlines.

"What is the day to day life of a junior doctor like? And what are the debates surrounding their job founded in?

"We are very grateful to Northampton General Hospital for giving us the opportunity to tell their crucially important stories at a time when there is so much concern about the state of the NHS."

There are currently more than 60,000 junior doctors working in NHS hospitals across the country, with many as young as 23-years-old and many facing a working week of up to 75 hours.

Channel Four says that the documentary was shot over four months "at the height of the 2016 junior doctor crisis" and follows the lives of three young doctors at different stages in their career.

Dr Sam Pollen, who works on the Collingtree Ward, said he agreed to be filmed as he believes the NHS to be under a "very real and significant imminent threat".

Speaking about his daily routine the young doctor said: "Often, if it’s a good day, and you’re rattling things off, you can get through things quite quickly.

"But with the level of understaffing and the sheer volume of patients that we have, and the velocity with which people come into hospital, you end up, at the end of the day, finding yourself with loads and loads of leftover jobs.

"If you don’t do those jobs, they’re not going to get done, and your patients suffer as a direct result of that. So you have to stay behind to complete all of those jobs."

The show is set to air tonight at 9pm.