NHS: To Pro­vide All Peo­ple

Meera Syal joins an all-star cast for a pow­er­ful drama mark­ing 70 years of the NHS

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Michael Sheen plays a hos­pi­tal porter and nar­rates this one-off BBC drama that marks the 70th an­niver­sary of the NHS, telling the story of 24 hours in one hos­pi­tal. Big-name stars join­ing Michael in­clude Eve Myles, Martin Freeman and Suzanne Packer…

Atyp­i­cal day in the life of the UK’s busy na­tional health ser­vice comes un­der the spot­light in BBC2’s star-stud­ded drama

The NHS: To Pro­vide All Peo­ple,

to cel­e­brate its 70th an­niver­sary.

The one-off drama, which takes the form of a poem, is based on in­ter­views with those who work at or have been treated at Nevill Hall Hos­pi­tal in Aber­gavenny, Wales. It fol­lows the tri­umphs and tragedies that oc­cur dur­ing a 24-hour pe­riod in and around a hos­pi­tal through the eyes of doc­tors, nurses, support staff and patients.

‘Like ev­ery­one in Bri­tain, my fam­ily’s lives have been saved and sup­ported by the NHS, so I was hon­oured to be part of this,’ says Meera Syal, who plays a dis­trict nurse. ‘It’s a cel­e­bra­tion of the amazing peo­ple who ded­i­cate them­selves to work­ing for this life-af­firm­ing in­sti­tu­tion.

‘My char­ac­ter spe­cialises in re­nal support, so she’s one of the real troupers who’s out car­ing for peo­ple who can’t get to hos­pi­tal.’

Fa­mous faces

The stel­lar cast also in­cludes Michael Sheen as a porter, Martin Freeman and Les­ley Manville, who play con­sul­tants, Michelle Collins is an ad­min worker, Tamsin Greig as a GP, Eve Myles is a mem­ber of the do­mes­tic staff, and Siân Phillips and Celia Im­rie play patients.

While the drama ac­knowl­edges the his­tory of the NHS, Meera hopes that it will also give view­ers pause for thought about the chal­lenges it faces.

‘I want it to re­mind peo­ple of one of our most as­ton­ish­ing and no­ble achieve­ments, but also act as a wake-up call,’ she says. ‘We take the NHS for granted, but it’s be­ing grad­u­ally eroded and we would be lost with­out it.’

Duty calls… Suzanne (left), Michael and Eve star

At your ser­vice… Eve Myles is in the big-name line-up

Top cast…

Martin Freeman plays a con­sul­tant

Help­ing hand… Michael Sheen as a hos­pi­tal porter

Com­mu­nity care… Meera plays a nurse

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