100% Original, Plagiarism Free, Tailored to your instructions

Order Now!

Does medical television drama change the public perception of crisis in the NHS?

Length: 10-12,000 words
(Title Page, Abstract, List of Contents, List of Illustrations and Tables, Reference List and Appendices do NOT count)
Structure of the main body of the dissertation
Please note that there is no set template. The structure of your dissertation will depend to an important extent on the nature of your project (for instance, empirical social science research, legal/policy analysis, historical study).
If you are doing empirical social science research these are some of the elements that are likely to be included in your dissertation:
1. An Introduction setting the context for the research and stating the rationale for doing it and its main aims (possibly in the form of research questions);
2. A chapter setting out the conceptual/theoretical framework and the relevant academic literature;
3. A chapter or section explaining the methodology employed, its limitations and appropriateness, including (if relevant) a discussion of any ethical issue raised by your project (see section below on research ethics);
4. One or more chapters analysing your research data (not necessarily numerical data; e.g., interview ‘data’);
5. A concluding chapter relating the main results of the research to the body of literature reviewed in the first part of the dissertation.
Other elements that must be included in the dissertation
1. Title Page: (full title, including subtitle; your full name; JMC department; date and year)
2. Abstract (100 to 250 words outlining your dissertation topic, methodology, aims and results)
3. List of Contents
4. List of Illustrations and Tables
5. Acknowledgements (optional)
6. Appendices (optional)
7. Reference List (please note that this is a reference list, not a bibliography, so include only works that you have cited or referenced in your dissertation)
Assessment and Modes of Weighting
1. Background: 30% – includes theoretical context and approach, discussion of previous relevant research, factual accuracy, and the context for your research in terms of academic and (if relevant) contemporary public debate.
2. Conduct of research: 40% – includes formulation of research questions and relating them to your background discussion, choice and explanation of methodology, technical competence and thoroughness of research, and reflection on the problems and limitations of the methods used. Also includes (if relevant) awareness of ethical issues raised by the project and discussion of how these issues were dealt with.
3. Analysis of findings: 20% – includes interpretation of data, drawing of conclusions, and relating them to the original background and context of the research.
4. Presentation: 10% – includes fluency, clarity, accuracy of writing, and evidence of a coherent and well-organised piece of work. Appropriate and clearly explained use of graphics and tables.
Here you can find what I’ve got so far and research questions as well as a transcript of an interview for the research (which I would like to have included in the appendices). You can find some broad ideas and comments there which I would like to further develop.
The chief aim of this paper is to present true perceptions of the current state of affairs with the National Health Service (NHS) through insider perspectives, expose presently held myths by medical television drama. It is necessary and important that the current spate of the crisis which has overtaken should not be undermined, or manifested in an inaccurate light, since this could have far reaching consequences, especially among public who rely heavily on public health services and could be mistakenly influenced by facts and dramatics presented by the medical dramas, especially in short term.
Topics related to medicine have always fascinated mankind, both at the level of professional medical knowledge, as well as everyday human experiences of common man. Leonardo da Vinci, who combined passion for painting with fascination for human anatomy, with admirable consequence he studied and examined the construction of the human body. He carefully and methodically recorded his findings on the drawings and drawings. One of his most contemporary famous work is the “Vitruvian Man”, the work on the proportions of the human body. Leonardo carried out illegal autopsies, he studied and examined human muscles, tendons, bones and cardiovascular system. His fascinations of the human body were continued later by Rembrandt van Rijn. The most familiar artwork of Dutch master is “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp”. Rembrandt presented the scene of conducting an autopsy, making this medical practice known only to the narrow circle of specialists, in a socially valuable and precious socio-medical treatment. The social aspect of this work draws attention to the fact that the autopsy begins with an analysis of the hand, not the abdomen. The artist probably was trying to prevent the shock effects, focusing viewers’ attention on the social function of performing the autopsy, not its medical aspect.
Analyzing the issues of the medicalization of modern television series, we cannot ignore the socio-historical significance of Rembrandt works related to this topic. Modern medical series not only continue the paintings’ features from many centuries in the past, but significantly expand the presented theme. In the flow of television content, series are a separate category. It is a genre that connect viewers with diverse views, lifestyles, interests, cultures, experiences or genders. Medical series are being watched both by women and men, old and young representatives of various professions. This is perhaps the only one of the few forms of television productions, which does not divide the audience, but combines them. The popularity of the medical issues is a phenomenon. The scale of interest in medical TV series is still huge, despite the fact that there are more recent series coming every year, that can be classified into this category.
Television series are being seen as an attractive product of widely understood mass culture. With an extremely range of themes, it allows even the most fastidious viewer to find something in the world of series something for everyone. These types of productions have existed on the glass screen for several decades and found their permanent place in the history of television. They survive their ups and downs, like the majority of television programs, which does not change the fact that the audience still love them and is addicted to them. Due to the various themes, series can be divided into many different species. Starting from the production of science fiction and ending with Brazilian soap operas. Due to the the fact that, the television series market is very tight glutted and manufacturers have to fight to win the viewer, they have been creating more and more new forms, which probably no one could count them all. It is worth mentioning that the narrative including doctors, hospitals and patients had created its own genre.
In the 1970s Marshall McLuhan (2013) attributed great importance to this kind of entertainment because of the “desire to experience feeding hunger [health] and […] obsessed with the bodily welfare”.
This chapter will seek to identify, analyse and critique to which extent medical television drama distort, modify the realities of, and of all, offer a much unrealistic portrayal of public perceptions within the National Health Services (NHS) in the UK. The overview of British and American medical television drama, historical as well as contemporary series, will be provided in order to get a better understanding of the current situation. It will also identify the main problems that NHS is facing today and the image of this institution on the small screen, using the example of 24 hours in A&E. The contrast between the rise of popularity of medical television and its way of showing health services will be compared to its current situation after passing the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
Since its inception in 1950s, medical television series enjoyed unprecedented popularity (Creeber, Miller and Tulloch, 2008). The history of medical drama dates back to only a couple of years after the foundation of the NHS, which was founded in 1948 by health secretary Aneurin Bevan (Nhs.uk, n.d.). Shows like Medic (US, 1954-5) and Emergency – Ward 10 (UK, 1957-67) were the precedents to more modern shows like City Hospital (1998-2007); 999: What’s your emergency (2012- ), or 24 Hours in A&E (2011 – ). 2016 was a year for the celebrations of 30th anniversary of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) longest running medical drama, Casualty (1986- ). By the 1960s, the number of medical dramas has grown to a larger number and the genre started developing new formats.
On 27th September 1961, Dr. Kildare (NBC, 1961-6) appeared on television screens in United States. The series was created on the canvas of radio plays and on the basis of a series of films directed by Harold S. Bucquet. It was a story of a young doctor (played by Richard Chamberlain), who gets to work in a large urban hospital, where he teaches the craft of medicine and in accordance with the Hippocratic oath, provides sick people with help, struggling at the same time with their personal problems. Pioneering center, which started the trend of the medical television series was ABC (American Broadcasting Company). ABC also created the series General Hospital, which was then entered into the Guinness Book of Records as one of the longest television series (Guinness World Records, 2009). Until now there has been filmed over 13500 episodes of this soap opera. Throughout the years, medical television series were changing its form while retaining the main principles of its own genre (Jacobs, 2003). Often they took on the form of a soap opera, as well as other model with a different, more unprecedented structure. The best example was the series “M*A*S*H” emitted in the years 1972-1983, which focused on the medicine with a grain of salt (Creeber, Miller and Tulloch, 2008). Over the time, it began to evolve into a comedy showing the reflection on the fate of the fighting soldiers and the legitimacy of the war. This was the first of this type of production that moved the medical series from the closed hospital rooms to the field of medical points. The plot of “M*A*S*H” is set in the 50s of the 20th century during the Korean War. With a number of 251 episodes, it is recognized today as one of the best short films in the medical world (IGN, 2017). The change in episodic convention was brought by CBS production “Dr. Quinn” (Jacobs, 2003). And this time, the plot does not take place among the hospital walls, it is kept in a western feel. The action takes place after the Civil War. Young Doctor Michael Quinn (Jane Seymour) opens a private practice in Colorado Springs in the Wild West. Yet inexperienced doctor is struggling not only with medical problems, but also with mores and cultural differences. “Dr. Quinn’s” producers, for the first time in history of the television series, addressed issues of racism, equality and tolerance. That was another change in comparison with its predecessors in the medical drama genre.
Medical television series as a genre became considerably final with the appearance of “ER” (Creeber, Miller and Tulloch, 2008). This could be probably named one of the most recognizable production of the last twenty years. Michael Crichton, with his medical education, created a script in 1974, based on his own experience of working in the emergency room. Crichton has been awarded for his script with a Writers’ Guild of America. The series tell the story of the hospital doctors of Country General Hospital in Chicago, who daily face difficult choices, fighting not only with death but also with their weaknesses. Swift action mixed with interwoven with drama threads, meant that the audience could not leave the glass screen and impatiently waited for the next episode. It is also worth mentioning that the role of Dr. Ross opened the way to a great career for George Clooney. The last season of “ER” was released in 2009. In total, the show had 334 episodes. The drama sanctioned to some extent the further development of this genre in the television and began the era of its post-modern form, medical series, beating popularity records worldwide.
Need for a new format within medical drama genre arose, which was seeking more authenticity in showing the reality of the health services in the UK. Mentioned earlier 24 Hours in A&E, located firstly at King’s College Hospital and then moved to St. George’s Hospital in later years, is being filmed by Channel 4 and The Garden Productions since 2011. This format uses remotely controlled cameras, which allows the producers to film 24 hours a day. So called “fixed rig” does not interfere with happenings at the hospital and it goes unannounced on the screen (Littleboy, 2013). Each season is being filmed for 28 days using over 70 TV cameras placed around one of the busiest corridors – hospital emergency ward in the UK. The producers invite viewers to witness another drama interwoven each day with death. Each episode follow new cases, in which we meet different patients and accompany them for 24 hours. They look at the hard and nervous work of medical staff who are dedicated to providing help, from life-threatening injuries to uncomfortable illnesses and ailments. This television series is a fascinating, often amusing, approach to work on the NHS public health front (Mangan, 2014).
Narratives and stories used in medical shows vary and are contrasting from the reality in the hospitals. Current reports show that the waiting times in the Accident & Emergency departments are the worst for a decade (Donnelly, 2015).
??? broad comments below
Why people enjoy medical television series so much? Human nature is constructed in a rather strange and incomprehensible way. Images full of, to a lesser or greater extent, brutality provoke different and in some way extreme feelings. At the same time, they absorb us and make us dislike them. Medical television series allow us to see the human body in various situations. They show what you do not have a chance to see in everyday life. On the other hand, sometimes we want to close our eyes and wait for the end of particular scenes in which the excess of blood and human entrails are shown. It gives viewers the opportunity to be active witnesses of dramatic battles, in which life is at stake.
Television is the most powerful medium. Characters and ideas presented in TV series and documentaries deeply affect the beliefs of spectator, their lifestyle, behavior and needs.
Source of the phenomenon of the popularity of medical series is primarily the fact that they affect issues and problems to which it is difficult to remain indifferent. Health issues and sometimes its loss, are connected with the emotions, experiences and relationships are an important part of everyone’s life. Relationships and dependence within the strongly hierarchical structure of the medical staff, as well as emotions and tensions on the line doctor or nurse – patient – relatives of the patient, and dramatic events in the background, this is an excellent canvas for more than one television scenario.
In medical productions doctors, nurses and paramedics are the most important aspect of medical truth, credibility, probability and thus it helps with further education of spectators and the possibility of preventing actions. Medical series focus on what is most important for the viewers, which is human health. The human body, its secrets, weaknesses and finally, illnesses and even death, these are subjects close to each other. TV audience researches show that series fans like to identify with their heroes, or at least they want to feel that what is happening on the screen is not unrelatable to them and they could be a part of the story. For this reason, medical series so strongly engage viewers, also because caring for their own health is an everyday struggle. Viewers also wish to detach from monotony and routine, they wish for strong emotions and stimuli, and medical series provide a large dose of both.
What fascinates us in the medical series? Is this category of television series new? Have people been fascinated by the mysteries of their own corporeality, health, diseases and the interior of their own body? What is the social function of the contemporary medical television series? Is the popularity of this type of television production characteristic to modern time, concentrated on promoting vitality and healthy lifestyle? Or rather, due to the improved understanding and dissemination of knowledge about human physiology and the medicalization of all the areas of the human existence?
The distance between doctor and patient is reduced. There is room for honest, clear conversation. We do not see doctors working from dawn to dusk on consecutive duty hours, allowing themselves to ironic and cynical comments, but completely cast to the illness, allowing their time to each patient. The smooth and polished image, by contrast with real life makes it nice to watch and dream about such treatment. Sometimes it creates a desire for a change.
Medical series and their social function goes beyond issues related to the way of living of a modern man. It can be argued that the medical television series are a great tool to diagnose and often treat dysfunctions of the whole society. Medical series are the place to deal with social fears, exploiting social issues and the solutions applied to the medical education, presenting a socially sanctioned hierarchy existing in a given society, presenting the modern technology and pharmacology. It is also the area of health education related to the health prevention and the impact of the social and medical advertising. It is also a picture of a mythologized social reality, often distorted, created on the principals of a fairy tale, to cheer the hearts rather than the picture of genuine social rules. Medical series are not neutral nor socially, nor culturally, nor politically or economically. They are an extremely important tool for social impact in a number of very different areas. They satisfy the eternal human need related to learning about their own bodies, overcoming weaknesses and diseases, and making attempts to overcome the processes of aging and transience.
In an era of advanced technology, the access to the narrow and medical expertise is spreading. Everyday life is being medicalized. The Internet access is changing the doctors’ situation, because they deal now with more knowledgeable and aware of their disease patients. Medical profession is still highly respected in the society, but their knowledge ceases to be secret and hidden from ordinary people. Process to control their own health is trafficked heavily on enlightened citizens who are aware of principles of health prevention, they are also obliged to carry out tests in regular intervals. This has implications for the treatment process and cooperation on the line doctor – patient. Doctors are obliged to a more detailed exchange of information, feelings and analysis of clinical symptoms. The doctor and patient must establish cooperation and mutually bestow trust to proceed with successful treatment. These crucial changes in the doctor – patient relationship and the analysis of the role of these two, but also the influence of disseminating the knowledge – are possibly available thanks to the popularity of medical television genre.
Medical series can be a good manual to teach doctors how difficult the transmission of information is between patient and his family. It presents an alternative to the
Creeber, G. (2008). The Television Genre Book. 1st ed. London: British Film Institute, pp.23-26.
Donnelly, L. (2015). A&E crisis: Hospitals again fail to meet waiting time target. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/11349844/AandE-crisis-Hospitals-again-fail-to-meet-waiting-time-target.html [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Guinness World Records. (2009). Longest-running TV medical drama. [online] Available at: https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-running-tv-medical-drama [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
IGN. (2017). Top 100 TV Shows of All Time – IGN.com. [online] Available at: https://uk.ign.com/lists/top-100-tv-shows/47 [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Jacobs, J. (2003). Body trauma TV. 1st ed. London: British film Institute.
Littleboy, H. (2013). Rigged: Ethics, authenticity and documentary’s new Big Brother. Journal of Media Practice, 14(2), pp.129-146.
Mangan, L. (2014). 24 Hours in A&E review – a measured, moving series that doesn’t mess with the formula. [online] The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/oct/31/24-hours-in-a-and-e-great-fire-review [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
1. Tell me a bit about yourself and your medical background
2. Have you ever watched any medical TV series? Specify.
3. Have you ever watched 24 hours in A&E?
4. What in your opinion is the purpose of this/such documentaries?
5. Is the image of the emergency ward true to reality/transparent? If not, what are the differences?
6. In what way does being filmed affect doctor’s performance?
7. In what way do medical dramas affect the public perception of the medical staff?
8. In what way do medical dramas affect the public perception of the NHS as a whole?
9. In your view, why are such documentaries so popular among people? Why do they watch it?
10. To what extent are these programmes a PR tool for the NHS as opposed to educational purposes?
1. Tell me a bit about yourself and your medical background
I’m Jack. I’m 22 and I work as a Paramedic in SW London. I actually trained at St George’s, University of London, which is attached to St George’s Hospital, so was in and out of the emergency department when the filming for 24 hours in A&E was taking place. However, I’m yet to make my television debut.
2. Have you ever watched any medical TV series? Specify.
As a child, I grew up watching Casualty, the BBC drama based around the fantasy emergency department of ‘Holby City’. From this, I developed an extremely idealist view of the Emergency Services and emergency medicine as a whole. The reality is a lot different from how it appears on Casualty. Not only is a ‘flat line’ (asystole) a non-shockable rhythm during a resuscitation, but there are a wealth of other differences. The most notable being the sort of patients and calls we attend. Casualty’s producers always stage some sort of major incident or horrible tragedy, whereas the majority of calls we attend are not life-threatening and many could have been dealt with by other NHS services. Or, they would be, if health and social care services, GP services and elderly care services were properly funded in the UK.
As well as Casualty, ‘Extreme A&E’ is one of my favourite medical programmes. It’s a four-part series presented by Dr Kevin Fong, of UCH and KSS Air Ambulance. This saga explores emergency departments from across the globe and trauma care herein.
Ambulance is another BBC programme that follow the London Ambulance Service in late 2016. Another good one to watch.
3. Have you ever watched 24 hours in A&E?
Of course, I’m always trying to spot myself.
4. What in your opinion is the purpose of this/such documentaries?
I believe that the ultimate goal of the producers of 24 hours in A&E is to attract viewers – that’s what they get paid to do. They do this in a multitude of ways. Firstly, they often clutch onto the emotional/human aspects of people’s adventures in A&E. Don’t get me wrong, many people do suffer horrendous injury and loss during the series, but often a little bit of clever editing makes situations on TV appear a lot different than they area in real-life inside the department.
This said, I believe the makers of 24hrs do an excellent job at presenting the staff and various experts in an extremely good light. We are lucky to have such amazing emergency clinicians watching our backs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. All this, free at the point of use.
Ultimately, I think the purpose of this documentary is entertainment. I’d like to see it take a more political role, given the current state of emergency the NHS is in.
5. Is the image of the emergency ward true to reality/transparent? If not, what are the differences?
When squeezing 24hrs of footage into an hour of programme, it’s obviously going to appear a little more manic than in reality. However, the camera angles and microphone placement really allow you to see the department from the eyes and ears of the staff and patients.
What’s different is the reflection done on screen by the staff that are interviewed. In reality, we don’t have time to reflect and think about some quite sad scenarios. We often just pick ourselves and get on with it, there’s always somebody else that needs help in some way.
6. In what way does being filmed affect doctor’s performance?
It makes them a lot less jokey when they’re on camera. A lot of the dark humour that is rife within emergency care is lost in the filming. I’m sure the presence of cameras does make them knuckle down and think twice about what they’re doing. Nobody wants to mess up in front of millions of viewers. Then again, they can just edit it out.
7. In what way do medical dramas affect the public perception of the medical staff?
People think we can magic them better when they see the amazing stuff they do on the TV. But often, this isn’t the case. Which makes expectations higher and disappointment more likely.
8. In what way do medical dramas affect the public perception of the NHS as a whole?
‘Ambulance’ really highlighted how stretched the ambulance services are. In the weeks following the airing of the documentary, I had many people tell me that they felt bad for calling an ambulance and that they knew that somebody would be more worthy of it. This annoyed me. The problem that the NHS is facing right now is one of privatisation by the backdoor, and hence deregulation, chronic underfunding and the introduction of ‘choice’ into healthcare. Ambulance did address funding as an issue, but did not explore the larger, more political problems that the NHS is facing under the current conservative government, and previous governments from both sides of the political argument.
I’m yet to see a documentary mention the ‘Health and Social Care Act 2012’. This Act devolved managerial and financial power to approx 200 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). The CCG model also gave every NHS service, for examples hip replacements, a cost. To drive ‘efficiency’ in these specific areas, CCGs would accept bids from providers (NHS and private alike) that could provide vital NHS services, such as hip replacements, but also in areas such as cancer care and care of the elderly and vulnerable. What we’ve seen since is the rapid privatisation of areas where profit can be made (hip replacements), thus leaving care for chronic diseases such as diabetes, areas that cost a lot to provide, to the already struggling NHS services. At the end of the day, private providers have profit as their number one interest, not patients. If providing a ground-breaking new cancer drug will mean destroying a provider’s profit, they simply will not provide it. Profit over people. I’d like to see this highlighted a little more in medical documentaries as it’s an issue that costs many people their lives annually.
9. In your view, why are such documentaries so popular among people? Why do they watch it?
Wow factor, I guess. Nobody gets to see what goes on behind the scenes in large, specialist hospitals, and nobody really wants to when it’s them being cared for.
10. To what extent are these programmes a PR tool for the NHS as opposed to educational purposes?
I don’t think they’re PR for the NHS at all. At the end of the day, it’s channel 4 that makes money from 24hrs in A&E, not the departments involved (I think). But, most of these documentaries paint an amazing picture of the NHS. Let’s face it, the NHS is amazing. But they don’t really educate people on what they can be doing to help it survive.

Our Service Charter

  1. Excellent Quality / 100% Plagiarism-Free

    We employ a number of measures to ensure top quality essays. The papers go through a system of quality control prior to delivery. We run plagiarism checks on each paper to ensure that they will be 100% plagiarism-free. So, only clean copies hit customers’ emails. We also never resell the papers completed by our writers. So, once it is checked using a plagiarism checker, the paper will be unique. Speaking of the academic writing standards, we will stick to the assignment brief given by the customer and assign the perfect writer. By saying “the perfect writer” we mean the one having an academic degree in the customer’s study field and positive feedback from other customers.
  2. Free Revisions

    We keep the quality bar of all papers high. But in case you need some extra brilliance to the paper, here’s what to do. First of all, you can choose a top writer. It means that we will assign an expert with a degree in your subject. And secondly, you can rely on our editing services. Our editors will revise your papers, checking whether or not they comply with high standards of academic writing. In addition, editing entails adjusting content if it’s off the topic, adding more sources, refining the language style, and making sure the referencing style is followed.
  3. Confidentiality / 100% No Disclosure

    We make sure that clients’ personal data remains confidential and is not exploited for any purposes beyond those related to our services. We only ask you to provide us with the information that is required to produce the paper according to your writing needs. Please note that the payment info is protected as well. Feel free to refer to the support team for more information about our payment methods. The fact that you used our service is kept secret due to the advanced security standards. So, you can be sure that no one will find out that you got a paper from our writing service.
  4. Money Back Guarantee

    If the writer doesn’t address all the questions on your assignment brief or the delivered paper appears to be off the topic, you can ask for a refund. Or, if it is applicable, you can opt in for free revision within 14-30 days, depending on your paper’s length. The revision or refund request should be sent within 14 days after delivery. The customer gets 100% money-back in case they haven't downloaded the paper. All approved refunds will be returned to the customer’s credit card or Bonus Balance in a form of store credit. Take a note that we will send an extra compensation if the customers goes with a store credit.
  5. 24/7 Customer Support

    We have a support team working 24/7 ready to give your issue concerning the order their immediate attention. If you have any questions about the ordering process, communication with the writer, payment options, feel free to join live chat. Be sure to get a fast response. They can also give you the exact price quote, taking into account the timing, desired academic level of the paper, and the number of pages.

Excellent Quality
Zero Plagiarism
Expert Writers

Instant Quote

Single spaced
approx 275 words per page
Urgency (Less urgent, less costly):
Total Cost: NaN

Get 10% Off on your 1st order!