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There was little attempt to make a film record of the early days of
the NHS. A pioneer in medical films for the BBC was Dr Charles Fletcher
who started the series Your Life in Their Hands against considerable
opposition from the medical establishment apart from support from the
Royal Colleges in 1958. He was accused of advertising which was against
the principles laid down by the General Medical Council and a question to
the Postmaster General was posed in Parliament on 26 February 1958. Sir I
Clark Hutchison asked the PMG to instruct the BBC to refrain from showing
this type of programme.There was support from the Commons for the series
which continued until 1964. New series were shown in the 1970s and from
1979 to 1987 and it was revived with Robert Winston as presenter in 2005.
The success of the first series was largely due to Charles Fletcher's
skill as a presenter and interviewer but I am concerned that his
pioneering work in this field is forgotten.
As I am now retired I can remember the popularity of these programmes and
I have a video recording of two of the programmes made at Llandough
Hospital, South Wales that I was able to show to the local BMA Division
and one of the original participants.