NHS: To Provide All People
Meera Syal joins an all-star cast for a powerful drama marking 70 years of the NHS
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.’
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
Martin Freeman plays a consultant
Helping hand… Michael Sheen as a hospital porter
Community care… Meera plays a nurse