As NHS England faces a humanitarian crisis, Holby City’ writers have dreamed up a dramatic scenario where a handsome young Scottish surgeon is appointed to speed up operations. Based on a reference from his millionaire father’s private surgeon, the young surgeon is appointed. He makes impressive early progress and bed-blocking in Holby City Hospital falls dramatically but, tragically, it soon transpires that all of the patients operated on die within a few days as a result of major errors in the hurried surgery.
Anas Sarwar was identified as the ideal candidate for this dramatic new role after BBC Drama talent scouts spotted his two recent appearances on Reporting Scotland where his indignant attacks on the Scottish Government’s management of NHS Scotland left barely a dry eye in the living rooms of Scotland. Particularly impressive was Sarwar’s ability to work convincingly despite quite badly written scripts.
On the 5th of January, Sarwar reported angrily on the deaths of nearly 700 patients, over a period of nineteen months, while awaiting discharge. Despite the BBC script lacking percentages or figures from previous periods to enable the viewer to judge the seriousness of the accusations, Sarwar was unhesitating in his condemnation of the results as ‘shocking’. Inspired, he even went on to discount government evidence that bed blocking was falling by reminding viewers that these deaths could have been of their own parents or grandparents. You’ll understand why Holby wanted him when he can touch hearts like that.
Only two days later, on the 7th of January, he was back, still mad as hell, to tell us that an average of 21 operations were cancelled every day last year. Again the script was a bit limited and we had to get a real expert to remind us that 900 operations are carried out every day and that sometimes surgeons get ill themselves or have to be transferred to more life-threatening cases. Needless to say nobody mentioned that 21 cancellations works out at only 2.33% of the total 900.
I was deeply impressed by Sarwar acting it. I wish him all the best in Holby City.