Casualty’s first improvised episode to illustrate pressure on paramedics

Casualty’s first improvised episode will illustrate the pressure on paramedics who are pushed to their “breaking point”.

The medical soap will not be scripted for its Saturday episode as it explores the work of Holby Ambulance Service workers Jan Jenning, Iain Dean, Sah Brockner and Teddy Gowan.

The episode also looks at the effect of ambulance queues on the hospital, its patients, and the front line medical staff.

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Actress Di Botcher’s character Jenning arrives back from holiday feeling refreshed until a long shift where she is ground down and makes a mistake.

The character of Gowan, played by actor Milo Clarke, also has his confidence undermined on a difficult call-out.

Meanwhile Dean, played by Michael Stevenson and Brockner, played by Arin Smethurst, both battle with intensely stressful situations over the course of the episode.

Steve Hughes, director of the episode, said the actors were “scared” at first as it is like walking a “tightrope without a net” before they found it “freeing and exciting”.

Hughes added: “It was vital to make this episode feel as authentic as possible to highlight the challenges paramedics, and the NHS as a whole, face on a daily basis.”

National Television Awards 2020 – Arrivals – London
Michael Stevenson, who plays Iain Dean in Casualty (Ian West/PA)

Jon Sen, executive producer of Casualty for BBC Studios, said: “The ambition behind the (episode) was to tell a story that gets as close as possible to what it is like to stand in the shoes of paramedics up and down the country.

“After our extensive research, using improvisation techniques to capture the truth of the world seemed only natural.

“We want people to come away having a greater respect for the work paramedics do and a true appreciation of the challenges they face.”

Casualty’s improvised episode will air on Saturday December 10 at 8.10pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.