Thurs­day Am­bu­lance

BBC ONE, 9.00PM

The Sunday Telegraph - - Television & radio -

The drama of med­i­cal emer­gen­cies, real and fic­tional, has long been a sta­ple of tele­vi­sion. But this su­perb doc­u­men­tary se­ries on the day-to-day work of Bri­tain’s am­bu­lance crews adds tech­ni­cal am­bi­tion and hu­man­ity, earn­ing it a Bafta for “best fac­tual TV se­ries” ear­lier this year. Af­ter fea­tur­ing Lon­don and the West Mid­lands in ear­lier edi­tions, the se­ries’ pro­duc­ers now turn their at­ten­tion to the North West Am­bu­lance Ser­vice, which serves more than 2.8 mil­lion peo­ple in Greater Manch­ester and its en­vi­rons. In this opener, the sum­mer’s pro­longed heat­wave sees the ser­vice strug­gling to cope with over 4,000 emer­gency calls a day – de­spite there be­ing only 10 dis­patch­ers and 111 am­bu­lance crews to re­spond. And then, when thou­sands of ex­tra peo­ple pour into Manch­ester on one of June’s hottest days for the Park­life Fes­ti­val, the num­ber of call­ers and de­lays keep grow­ing. By the end, the sys­tem is verg­ing on col­lapse. GO

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