Cutting edge TV documentary about Southampton's neuro intensive care unit

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Millions of viewers will get unprecedented access into the work of Southampton’s neuro intensive care unit in a new documentary hitting TV screens next week.

‘Bring Me Back to Life’, due to air on Channel 4 at 10pm on Wednesday (30 August), follows the compelling story of 22-year-old Taylor Britton, who suffered life-threatening injuries after being involved in a car accident in 2016.

Cameras captured the gripping moment when Taylor was admitted to hospital with a broken neck and the complications that followed as a team of doctors and nurses fought to save his life.

Following his initial treatment, clinicians assessed his injuries to determine his chances of survival.

The hour-long film reveals an inspiring story of hope and courage while at the same time showcasing the world-class medical expertise of neuro intensive care (neuro ICU) staff at the city’s hospital.

Dr Roger Lightfoot, director of neuro ICU at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The challenge of managing life-threatening cases, such as Taylor’s, is to balance medical care and treatment with the individual needs and concerns of the patient as well as their immediate family.

He added: “We never forget we are looking after individuals so one form of care does not always fit all. This can be difficult at times and as a team we are always looking at ways to improve.”

Produced by the makers of the award-winning TV series ’24 hours in A&E’, film crews shot the footage over four weeks in the unit – part of the Wessex Neurological Centre at UHS.

“Taylor and his family allowed us to film the most intimate of moments, giving a rare insight into the graphic reality of major trauma but from a very human perspective” said Graeme McAulay, director from Garden Productions.

“This unique film not only documents the care and commitment of Southampton’s neuro ICU staff, but also presents a series of diary messages for Taylor as it was unlikely he’d have any memory of his time in intensive care if he survived."

He added: “We feel privileged to be able to tell Taylor's moving story.”

Nick Mirsky, head of documentaries at Channel 4, who commissioned the film said: "This is a truly special hospital documentary. It records what could be the final days of a young man's life, in the hope that he will survive and one day see them for himself. But it succeeds in being much more than a record of Taylor's medical journey. Through the messages of support from his friends and family and the care and commitment of the clinicians working to save him, we bear witness to the power of love."

“This is a powerful piece of public service film making. It is difficult to think of another film that communicates with as much power as this the impact that a single moment in a car can have not just on the accident victim, but also on everyone in his life.”

During 2016/2017 neuro ICU saw 650 patients of which 150 had complex spinal injuries.

The regional unit covers a population of approximately three million people across Hampshire, parts of West Sussex, Wiltshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

As well as the management of complex spinal cases, the team also treats patients with traumatic brain injuries as well as other neuro-medical emergencies.

‘Bring Me Back to Life’ will be broadcast on Channel 4 on Wednesday (30 August) at 10pm.

Posted on Friday 25 August 2017