June 08, 2009

Casualty 1909

Perhaps surprisingly for someone who specialises in ehealth and the use of new technologies in healthcare, I have recently been spending my spare time researching the early twentieth century.

I have been advising the makers of a new six-part BBC TV drama set in the receiving room of the London Hospital in 1909, suggesting medical storylines to the writers and advising on set with the director and actors. Plenty of parallels are drawn between then and now - not least issues of poor performance, addicted doctors, and whistleblowing.

Another theme of particular relevance to my day job is how innovation gets into practice. A big storyline for this series is the use of new anaesthetic drugs and their pitfalls. This series is also about the role of women, working as nurses in The London (which did not allow them to train as doctors at this time) set against the backdrop of suffragism. 

If you are interested its called Casualty 1909 (but has nothing to do with Casualty, promise) and starts on Sunday 14th June at 9pm on BBC1. There is a trailer on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaJFS8BQnCw

Dr John Powell
Associate Clinical Professor in Epidemiology & Public Health


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