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Hospital seeks to inspire stroke story on Casualty

18 February 2016

Health Care

Consultants at Southend University Hospital may just have a thing or two to teach ace clinical lead Connie Beauchamp on the hit BBC drama Casualty.

A story assistant from the Saturday night drama visited the hospital recently to gain a greater insight into the hospital's award winning stroke service.

Southend is a leader in its stroke care and story assistant, Hannah Durham, travelled from the filming home of Casualty in Cardiff, which masquerades as the location of the A&E department of Holby City Hospital.

The visit was organised thanks to stroke consultant Dr Sajid Alam, who is a huge fan of the show and its sister series, Holby City. He said: "My wife and I always watch it and I thought that we could offer a fresh and unique perspective into stroke which we haven't seen covered on the show."

One visit later and Hannah was instantly wowed by all she learnt from an in depth talk and tour by Dr Alam and the stroke team, such as how it can affect young people and symptoms that can be masked by making its sufferer appear as if they have been drinking.

Hannah also got to meet world renowned interventional neuroradiologist Professor Iris Grunwald who discussed her work with thrombectomy where she quite literally pulls out blood clots using a fine wire inserted into the vein. Southend is one of only a handful of hospitals in the UK to perform this pioneering procedure.

Sajid said: "Obviously Casualty is a fictional drama but it has to reflect the real medical world and its advances, it can also help educate the viewer in conditions such as stroke. If we can help influence the show and get that message out on a prime time Saturday night then we could help save lives not just across Essex but across the whole UK."

It's yet to be decided if the visit will inspire elements of a future episode but information gathered on the day will now be shared at story meetings and with script writers, as well as with staff on sister show Holby City.