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Episode 2

Documentary. Head and neck surgeon David Grant returns from annual leave to find his surgical list has snowballed.

Head and neck surgeon David Grant returns from annual leave to find his surgical list has snowballed. He is one of only two consultant surgeons at Nottingham University Hospitals' busy cancer head and neck service which, due to a national shortage of head and neck surgeons, is under severe strain. To make matters worse, David is thinking of leaving his post at NUH. 'The job I want to do, I can't do in the NHS, because of the pressure we're under all the time. There's just nowhere to take a breath.'

Freda, a 75-year-old retired teacher, is one of David's patients. She has a lump in her thyroid gland that David fears might be cancer and he is keen to operate. His annual leave and the shortage of surgeons creates a huge backlog in David's surgical list and delays Freda's operation by several weeks.

Four-year-old Poppy is recovering from emergency surgery for a tumour on her brain. She must now have several months of further treatment. Professor Richard Grundy, Poppy's consultant, offers to put her on a clinical trial involving an innovative treatment. Poppy's parents are now faced with a difficult choice: to stick to the standard treatment or to go onto a clinical trial with its unknown results.

70-year-old Margaret has a 6kg tumour in her stomach - a rare form of cancer known as sarcoma. She has been referred to NUH - a regional centre of expertise in this type of cancer. Colorectal surgeon Alastair Simpson believes he can save her life but the complexity of her condition means it takes over four months for Margaret to receive her operation. Complex and high risk surgery is now Margaret's only hope. As she says to her family, 'It's always there at the back of your mind, are you going to make it.'.

59 minutes

Last on

Thu 21 Feb 2019 21:00

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:13

    Medina

    Addiction

Credits

Role Contributor
Executive Producer Simon Dickson
Executive Producer Lorraine Charker Phillips
Executive Producer Ricardo Pollack
Series Producer Sophie Jones
Series Producer Emma Whitehead
Director Rebecca Burrell
Director Brigid McFall
Director Hiral Patel
Director Jack Rampling
Director Lyttanya Shannon
Director Chris Taylor
Director Paul Wells
Director Natasha Zinni
Production Company Label1 Television Ltd

Broadcasts

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