Putneymead Medical Practice to Star in TV Show

GPs: Behind Closed Doors filmed at centre on Upper Richmond Road

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A local medical practice is to be the star of the new series of GPs: Behind Closed Doors on Channel 5.

Putneymead Group Medical Practice was the location for the filming of the second series of the programme. Cameras were given access to consultations between GPs and their patients to provide an inside view of how community medicine works in today’s NHS. Doctors at the practice on the Upper Richmond Road look set to gain a degree of celebrity as they tackle the varied problems of their patients.

The first episode is to be broadcast at 8pm on Wednesday 4th February. It features Janet, a patient with a diagnosis of personality disorder. Janetʼs case is fairly extreme and she has not washed for months and is covered in fleas. More worrying for one GP, however, is Janetʼs well thought-out suicide plan. Dr Hassas must attempt to ʻtalk Janet downʼ but he is all too aware that once she leaves his consultation room, there is a very real chance that he may never see her again.

Across the corridor, Dr Tim King is doing his best to treat Vittoria, who has been injured during an assault and also has an agonising throat infection. The real root of Vittoriaʼs problems, however, is her alcohol dependency. She has been drinking before she arrives at the surgery and before long the consultation descends into chaos.

Not all consultations at Putneymead place the GPs under such stressful conditions. Some can be joyous, such as Dr Kieron Earneyʼs regular meetings with Theresa and Richard, a married couple who both have special needs. Later, Dr Earney also has the pleasure of treating Christopher, a local eccentric who likes nothing better than to bury his face in his catʼs fur.

Many of the patients at Putneymead are dealing with extremely serious illnesses and looking after them can place the GPs under emotional stress. This time, during a moving consultation, Dr Ashleigh Helm diagnoses a frightened patient with early onset dementia.

The episodes weekʼs final consultation features Harold, a gentleman with terminal liver cancer who has been told that he has just months to live. During an astonishingly frank discussion with experienced GP Dr Don McKenzie, Harold reveals how he has come to terms with his own mortality. Later, Dr McKenzie reveals how he hopes that he will be able to face his own end with as much courage as Harold.

The programme aims to highlight how GPs, who get less than 10% of the total NHS budget, handle 90% of the workload.

January 29, 2015