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About this work


Starting in a hospital emergency department where a casualty receives attention from doctors and nurses, the film moves on to show some of the people providing essential back-up services. In describing their work and the great satisfaction it gives them, they demonstrate that the modern National Health Service offers a wide variety of careers.


UK : Central Office of Information, 1975.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (27.16 min.) : sound, color



Copyright note

Crown copyright, managed by BFI.

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Produced by the Central Office of Information for the Department of Health and Social Security. Made by Rayant. Photographed by Douglas Ransom, edited by Roy Ayton, produced by John Durst and written and directed by David Williams. Filmed at Southampton General Hospital.


This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archive


Segment 1 A hospital is seen at night, with the hospital radio station heard closing down for the night. A nurse comforts a child in the children's ward and helps him sleep. A male narrator says that in a hospital, there is always someone to 'clean, cook and comfort'. Various shots of different hospital wards are seen. At 1am, an ambulance brings in Harold Bennett who was hit by a car. The staff undress him and inspect his wounded leg. The telephone exchange is seen, with women connecting the calls. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:04:38:18 Length: 00:04:38:18
Segment 2 The casualty department is seen. A doctor examines a boy with a broken collarbone. Nurses attend to various patients on the ward. A doctor speaks to a man who fell off a ladder, and he is then seen having an x-ray. The narrator says that there are over 100 different jobs in a health authority association but that not all involve contact with patients. A woman is seen processing x-rays. Julie, a ward clerk, describes her job. She is seen helping an elderly man choose his lunch from a menu. Time start: 00:04:38:18 Time end: 00:10:23:21 Length: 00:05:45:03
Segment 3 Keith, the catering manager, discusses his job and how it is difficult to budget and organise meals for so many people. The canteen is seen, with staff preparing trays of food for patients. Charlotte, a domestic manager, discusses supervising the hospital cleaners. She says that even though they do a very important job, they are not very appreciated. Time start: 00:10:23:21 Time end: 00:14:49:11 Length: 00:04:25:15
Segment 4 Domestics are seen clearing patients' trays after lunch. Henry, a hospital porter, talks about how he enjoys his job as he meets so many people. The laundry department is seen, with women folding uniforms and sheets. An electrician discusses how engineers and electricians are also important members of a health authority team. The pathology and pharmacy departments are seen, with researchers examining cells and preparing medicines. Time start: 00:14:49:11 Time end: 00:19:51:20 Length: 00:05:02:09
Segment 5 A female physiotherapist talks about rehabilitating patients who have had neurosurgery. Physiotherapists are seen helping patients learn to walk again. Builders and architects are seen planning a new hospital building. The narrator mentions that there are other units as well as the general hospital: clinics and outpatient centres. The children's ward is seen again. A social worker talks to an elderly lady about returning home from hospital. Time start: 00:19:51:20 Time end: 00:23:24:22 Length: 00:03:33:02
Segment 6 The social worker talks about how her job is difficult as she cannot help but become involved in patients' lives and problems. The hospital radio is heard; a nurse has requested a song for the patients on the ward. Various shots of different hospital departments are seen, with the voices of different staff heard talking about job satisfaction. Harold Bennett is seen being helped into bed. Then the camera zooms out and all the staff who have helped with his hospital stay are seen sitting on chairs facing the camera. End credits. Time start: 00:23:24:22 Time end: 00:27:15:24 Length: 00:03:51:02



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