The Big Hospital Experiment

The Big Hospital Experiment

Series 1 - Episode 1



Fourteen young volunteers are put to work on the busiest wards of the Royal Derby Hospital. They get some training, but are still shocked at the responsibility.

Clinical educator Andy (who’s a bit of a star) is nervous: “They could kill somebody!” he says. Erik’s never made a cup of tea before, Will hasn’t stuck at any job, but Charlotte throws herself into every aspect of the work.

The experience of caring for others can be emotional, but it changes the volunteers' attitude towards work, life and death. More importantly, if they can make a difference, this radical scheme could prop up the understaffed NHS.


In a radical social experiment based on a scheme in Germany, 14 young volunteers between the ages of 18 and 24 spend four weeks delivering patient care on the NHS frontline at Royal Derby Hospital, aiming to find out whether volunteers could help relieve the pressures of staff on the wards and make a positive difference to patient care in the NHS.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Daniel Rigby
Editor Amanda Baxter
Editor Diane Bernhardt
Editor Jacob Proctor
Executive Producer Sarah Spencer
Series Director James Bainbridge
Series Producer Rachael Barnes
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Documentary Science