The Hospital: In The Deep End on SBS
The Hospital: In The Deep End (image - SBS)

The Hospital: In The Deep End on SBS new groundbreaking series

The Hospital: In The Deep End on SBS – News headlines constantly tell us our public health system and its workers are at breaking point. But what’s it really like to work on the hospital frontline?

In this ground-breaking series three Australian icons with a unique connection to the health system go beyond the headlines to find out.

Host of Gardening Australia Costa Georgiadis, food writer and TV host Melissa Leong, and actor Samuel Johnson are thrown out of their comfort zones and onto St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney’s frontline.

The Hospital: In The Deep End sees Costa, Melissa and Sam put to work for a week at one of the country’s busiest and most well-known hospitals. From drug and alcohol treatment, heart transplants, mental health wards and brain surgery, nothing is off limits.

They will meet hospital staff at their most capable and patients at their most vulnerable. The pressures are intense, the outcomes at times uncertain, and the care factor is turned up high.

Melissa Leong’s mother spent decades working as a Nurse Unit Manager in a hospital emergency room. She’s about to follow in her mother’s footsteps, being put to work in St Vincent’s Emergency Department, which sees over 50,000 presentations per year, including the highest concentrations of homelessness, and those related to mental health and drug and alcohol presentations.

This sees her tending to patients who are extremely vulnerable, with the pressures in the department ramping up as soon as she begins her shift.

Melissa also spends time in the Neurosurgery Department, meeting a patient in the public system who requires immediate brain tumour surgery. She soon learns of the competing priorities at play to ensure the operation goes ahead. She also witnesses a breast cancer patient undergo reconstruction surgery, gaining an insight into what’s required of our health care system in the years to come.

Melissa said:

“If you’re a curious person like me, an invitation to go behind-the-scenes in one of Australia’s most well-known – and busiest – hospitals, is a once in a lifetime gift. My week at St Vincent’s is now a life memory filled with extraordinary people; doctors, nurses, and patients, alike.

I hope The Hospital: In The Deep End gives viewers a new perspective on the services we – and the ones we love – will all have a personal experience with at some point in our lives. From heartwarming stories, to what it takes to keep it going, how much do we really know about our own public health system?”

Costa Georgiadis has a deeply personal connection to palliative care, having been the primary carer for his father until he passed away at St Vincent’s Hospital.

Costa said:

“To arrive at the hospital with him and then leave without him is something that you never forget.” That connection is about to go far deeper than Costa could ever have imagined.

A visit to St Vincent’s Sacred Heart Palliative Care unit reveals that one of his school friends is receiving end-stage treatment, giving him a unique insight into how the palliative care system operates.

Costa also spends time with the Hospital’s Homeless Outreach team, providing care on the street for those who fall through the cracks in the health system.

And he’s taken well and truly outside of his comfort zone as he witnesses a world class surgical team perform a heart transplant, watching a heart take its first beat inside its new recipient’s chest, and discovering what the future holds for organ transplants.

Almost three years ago, actor Samuel Johnson was put back together in the public health system after being hit by a car.

Samuel said:

“Not once did I sense any stress coming from the hospital staff who nursed me during that time. I want to lift the curtain and find out how this is possible.”

Sam begins his time at St Vincent’s by stepping into a world he’s familiar with to a degree from a patient’s perspective, the Alcohol and Drug service. He’s interested to find out how things have changed since he was treated for drug and alcohol issues years ago.

Sam also spends time in the hospital’s mental health unit. He knows this will bring his own battles with mental health to the surface, as well as those of his mother.

He’s introduced to the Emergency Department’s innovative psychiatric emergency care centre, where he uses his personal experience to provide support to a patient experiencing suicidal ideation.

Sam is also introduced to Caritas, St Vincent’s inpatient mental health unit. He’s relieved to discover how much things have changed since his mum was hospitalised, and how our mental healthcare system has evolved to help vulnerable patients in need.

In The Hospital: In The Deep End, Costa, Melissa, and Sam find the answers they’re looking for and so much more. They discover how healthy our public health system is and what’s needed to keep our hospitals fighting fit well into the future. Through their emotionally charged experiences we see them – and our health system – as we’ve never seen them before.

SBS Commissioning Editor Bethan Arwel-Lewis, said:

What’s exciting about the series is that this is the story behind the headlines. With remarkable access to one of Australia’s busiest hospitals, the story of these three intrepid well-known Australians embarking on a fish out of water experience has created a raw and unflinching insight into the health system.

It also asks challenging questions about the public health service today and into the future.”

Screen Australia Head of Documentary Richard Huddleston said:

“Screen Australia is proud to support this eye-opening documentary with extraordinary, touching and life-affirming stories from the front line of public healthcare in Australia.

Melissa, Costa and Samuel each take us on deeply personal journeys as they explore timely and thought-provoking issues within the healthcare system.

The Hospital: In The Deep End really shines a light on the tireless efforts of our outstanding health workers and will bring audiences closer than ever before to the critical health support they provide in some of the most difficult circumstances.”

Smashing Films Creative Director and Executive Producer Dan Brown said:

“Our public health system is regarded as one of the best in the world, but headlines suggest that the pressures on it are continuing to build, and the cracks are starting to show. This is something we wanted to explore.

Our health is the most important thing we have. Are we approaching a situation where it may not be there to look after us when we really need it?”

The Hospital: In The Deep End is a Smashing Films production for SBS. Principal production funding from Screen Australia and SBS. Financed with support from Screenwest and Lotterywest.

The Hospital: In The Deep End will be subtitled on SBS On Demand in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. All episodes will be available with audio description.

The Hospital: In The Deep End on SBS and SBS On Demandpremieres on Thursday 6 June .

The three-part series continues weekly with episodes one and two airing on SBS at 8:40pm and episode three airing at 8:30pm. All episodes available to stream on SBS On Demand from Thursdays.

The Hospital: In The Deep End on SBS

Media Release – SBS

The Hospital: In The Deep End on SBS

The Hospital: In The Deep End on SBS

TV Central SBS content HERE

The Hospital: In The Deep End on SBS

The Hospital: In The Deep End on SBS

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