Series 5 - Episode 7

Thu 16 Apr 1:30am - 2:30am BBC Two


Alder Hey’s leading neurosurgeon Chris Parks jokes that he spends more time with maxillofacial surgeon Ben Robertson than he does with his wife. He may be right. The pair have performed over 2,000 hours of surgery, but lack of funding means not all these operations can go ahead.

Fortunately Violet, an adorable toddler, can have the intricate operation to reshape her skull because she has craniosyntosis and is in danger of being severely brain damaged. But the pressure on the team - and the waiting lists - will increase when Ben returns to Australia. It takes 23 years of training to become a maxillofacial consultant – and there is no one to replace him.


The documentary looks at Alder Hey Children's Hospital's craniofacial department - one of only four in the UK that treats life-threatening congenital skull and facial abnormalities. With a rise in referrals, the department is over-subscribed and neurosurgeon Chris Parks, who leads the craniofacial surgical team, faces a non-stop workload. Chris always works hand in glove with Ben Robertson, one of three paediatric maxillofacial surgeons in the UK. But this partnership is about to be broken up, as Ben is leaving to return to his native Australia. It takes 23 years' training to become a maxillofacial Consultant specialising in cranio-surgery, and there is currently nobody experienced enough to replace Ben, putting extra pressure on the waiting lists.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Jackie Waldock
Executive Producer Eric Harwood
Executive Producer Lorraine Charker-Phillips
Executive Producer Simon Dickson
Series Editor Mark Rossiter
Series Producer Meghan Just-Truelove
Series Producer Kate O'Hara
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