Confessions of a Junior Doctor: Channel 4 series shows challenges of NHS graduates at Northampton hospital

Ben Travis
Pressures: Channel 4 reveals the Confessions of a Junior Doctor: Channel 4/Ryan Mcnamara

The start of your career as a new doctor is always going to be an intense and stressful time.

The time for studying is over – there are patients out there to be looked after, and any mistakes will have a real-world effect.

But that’s not the only pressure facing Britain’s newly-qualified NHS staff.

The National Health Service is stretched, resources are running low, patient numbers are increasing, and lots of the weight is falling on the shoulders of junior doctors.

Channel 4’s new documentary series Confessions of a Junior Doctor meets the graduates who started work in hospitals last August.

“We’ve got no room, no beds, no space,” one sighs.

A more experienced medical expert chimes in: “Everything is stretched, we haven’t got much more to give, and something needs to change.”

The show was filmed over four months during the time of the NHS junior doctor strikes.

It’s a sometimes tough watch – seeing the new workers overwhelmed, to see the system struggling under the stress, and the effect it has on patients too.

“It was staggering to see how hard these doctors work and the pressure they are under,” says Series Director Will Lorimer.

“Everybody knows the NHS is stretched, but these doctors are the ones right there at the coal face. This series is very timely because these young people are the consultants of tomorrow – what happens to them will affect all of us.”

Channel 4, 9pm