Ian’s audio drama plots birth of the NHS | News from St Bartholomew's

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Ian’s audio drama plots birth of the NHS

Ian Haig, longstanding member of the St Bartholomew’s team, has taken inspiration from his time at the hospital to create an audio drama exploring the foundation of the National Health Service.

Set between 1945 and 1948, Getting Better is a ten-part podcast series which focusses on the contribution of Aneurin Bevan, the youngest minister in the post-war Labour cabinet and the chief architect of the NHS.

Bevan is played by comedian Rhod Gilbert who told the South Wales Evening Post: “It’s hard to put into words how it felt to read as Nye after a year in which the NHS has cemented itself as the lifeblood of the nation – and the year in which my father died in its arms.”

He is joined by stars including Neve McIntosh, Kathryn Drysdale and Mark Gatiss.

Ian, who wrote the story and produced and co-directed the drama, was inspired after seeing the response of Barts Health teams to the Covid-19 pandemic including during time spent at The Royal London Hospital's Queen Elizabeth unit.

He said: “It was a race against time to create new intensive care capacity for the winter peak in Covid-19 cases, and all the staff and volunteers pulled together amazingly.

He says there are similarities between 1945 and present day: "I had been researching healthcare around the time of World War Two and there were so many incredible stories that reminded me of our modern healthcare heroes.

"After the War, the country was broke but Nye and his wife Jennie Lee kept going despite all the obstacles, so I hope their story inspires us all for the difficult times ahead."

“Huge thanks to a cast and crew of more than 80 people who made it happen and especially to Nye, Jennie and to the NHS!”

The podcast is available to download from Audible.

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