Sky 1’s new medical drama ‘Critical’ burst onto our screens on 24 February this year.

The show aims to be a realistic real-time drama working within the “golden hour” of trauma treatment, which is when the patient has the best chance of survival.

To make the show as realistic as possible Sky contacted St George’s in January 2014 to find out more about how trauma cases are managed.

They were interested in treatment protocols, the characters that are drawn to working in such a stressful environment and the language of effective communication within an emergency department (ED).

Realising that ‘Critical’ aimed to have a high-degree of medical accuracy, Dr Heather Jarman, Consultant Nurse in Emergency Care at St George’s offered to provide training for the 23-strong cast and crew.

A two-week long “bootcamp” which consisted of short lectures, simulations and Q&A sessions was developed. St George’s also provided the opportunity for the cast to shadow their clinical counterparts in ED, theatres, vascular and orthopaedic surgery, and radiology so that they could get a genuine sense of what these jobs involve.

Heather said, “I was approached for some advice relating to major trauma centres and trauma nursing well over a year ago by the Sky production and script team. There were medical and nursing advisors from a range of trauma specialisms, for example neurosurgery, vascular surgery and emergency medicine.

“I was involved in editing, script and on-set advice, and soon realised that it was a show which would really heavily on medical realism so we were going to have lot of on-going input.

“Health care professionals generally only watch medical dramas to point out their inadequacies and shout at the TV. The other medical advisors and myself were keen to make the programme as close to current practice as possible but obviously we recognised that it is after all a TV drama!”