Screen Seminar: Hannah Hamad, ‘Screening the NHS at 70: Exploring the Political Stakes of Contemporary UK Medical Television’, Glasgow     

Published on: Author: Hannah Tweed Leave a comment

Date: 5.30pm – 7pm, Wednesday 6th December

Location: Room 408, Gilmorehill Halls, University of Glasgow

Screen Seminars at Glasgow are delighted that Dr Hannah Hamad (University of Cardiff) will be presenting her work on ‘Screening the NHS at 70: Exploring the Political Stakes of Contemporary UK Medical Television’. All welcome!

‘Screening the NHS at 70: Exploring the Political Stakes of Contemporary UK Medical Television’

In 2018 the NHS is seventy years old. So far the BBC’s most noteworthy gesture towards this has been the nostalgic, reverential and celebrity-oriented television documentary series Matron, Medicine and Me: 70 Years of the NHS (BBC, 2016). The media, including television, have always played a crucial and high-stakes role in making the organisation and its services knowable to the British public, and in negotiating its wavering status as the most seemingly immovable bastion of the UK welfare state. Since its beginnings, the media have functioned as a mouthpiece for government policy and agendas on the National Health Service. But since the immensely controversial passing and implementation of the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, critics like Oliver Huitson have lambasted the news media in particular for their perceived complicity in enabling this to take place with relatively little outcry from either the public or the commentariat. However, as I argue and explicate in this talk, niche outlets and platforms on UK television, even within the mainstream media (e.g. BBC Four’s observational mockumentary sitcom Getting On), have provided audiences and users of the health service with differently oppositional and counter-hegemonic positions on readings and depictions of the NHS under neoliberalism.

Dr Hannah Hamad is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at Cardiff University and the author of Postfeminism and Paternity in Contemporary US Film: Framing Fatherhood (New York and London: Routledge, 2013).


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