I’m just watching the first episode of the new BBC drama Frankie, with Gwen from Torchwood as the eponymous district nurse. And it has Eve from Casualty too. And so far, it’s terrible.
The performances are ok, it’s the terrible understanding of health and social care services that is bugging me. A district nurse decides to refer a sick child to a consultant. Right, ‘cos that can happen. Not. She asks the GP to refer a dementing elderly man for an occupational therapy assessment and the GP refuses. But she doesn’t bother to do it herself, even though she could. The elderly man is badly confused one day and thumps her. She refuses to record it, and neither does her colleague, even though he knows about it but she asks for “an assessment” for him. She takes the pregnant mother of the sick child to hospital for her scan, because of course district nurses have time to be a taxi service. On the way back, the poorly child goes into cardiac & respiratory arrest, and although the DN calls for an ambulance, after she has performed resuscitation and the child’s heart and breathing start up again, she sticks her back in her car and takes her to hospital herself instead of waiting for the ambulance. The next day, she spends hours in the hospital with the mother while the little girl has surgery. And then “they start the assessment” for the old man and section him by taking him away in a social work transport bus. Oh, and she forgoes her birthday party when she gets a call from the sick girl’s mother on her personal mobile, and ends up helping to deliver her baby (still wearing her party frock) even though she’s in the hospital surrounded by midwives. Wtf?
Do the BBC think that anything starring Eve Myles has to portray her as some sort of super-heroine? Are they trying to encourage the patronising view of nurses as angels? Or do they just not give a shit about basic accuracy? I get that the point of the show is that she puts her work ahead of anything else in her life, but surely they could write it in a way that actually reflects the realities of health and social care rather than this half-arsed over the top nonsense.