The National Health Service is one of Britain’s most beloved and respected institutions yet only those on the inside really knows how it runs.

This September, BBC Two brought a docuseries to our screens seeking to change that.

The Big Hospital Experiment follows fourteen young volunteers as they get to work at the Royal Derby Hospital, all with varying motivations and experience going into the experiment.

So, with the show drawing to a close on Wednesday, September 25th, Reality Titbit caught up with Erik Hax about his experience on the show.

Here’s what he had to say…

Screenshot: The Big Hospital Experiment S1 E2 – iPlayer

What inspired you to take part in The Big Hospital Experiment?

“There’s so much smearing of the NHS in the press. You read the shocking headlines but who knows if it’s true or not?

I’ve only experienced private clinics, the service is 5-star and you always know what you’re getting… so as a whole, it intrigued me to see the reality of a working hospital today.”

So, people were surprised you signed up then? What did your friends and family think?

“They thought I was crazy. They really couldn’t believe that I had willingly signed myself up to this experiment.

My friends kept testing me saying ‘You know you might have to take someone to the toilet or wipe their bum?’. But I wasn’t going to give in. I wanted to fight people’s perceptions of me.”

How did you find being a volunteer on the show?

“I felt like the odd one out.

The other volunteers were medical students, law students, some were considering a role in the NHS. Then there’s me from the other end of the spectrum. I had no interest in pursuing a job with the NHS and I certainly wasn’t going to be convinced!”

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Screenshot: The Big Hospital Experiment S1 E2 – iPlayer

The idea of money kept resurfacing throughout your time on the show, can you talk about that?

“The nurses tried to make me see that I shouldn’t live my life for money but that it should be for the love of a job, because it makes you feel good. And I get that.

My point was that for me, money does buy me happiness. I am not ashamed to say that I am materialistic, I like nice things, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Let’s be honest, a love for the job doesn’t pay the bills or buy you a fabulous outfit for the weekend! We are in two different worlds.”

As you were openly materialistic on the show, you faced some online bullying. What happened?

“Negative comments are part and parcel of being involved with a TV show… some Tweets were shocking.

[But] I have very thick skin and it doesn’t bother me. I know who I am and what I stand for. Ridiculous comments on Twitter won’t change that.

Although I live for the comment that compared me to Rylan!”

If there is one thing you’ve taken away from the experiment, what is it?

“You could say I live in a bit of a bubble. All I knew was shopping, going out and having a good time.

Seeing ill people every day, who might not have left to live has made me appreciate my life more.

I’ve realised how lucky I am. Life is too short to sweat over the small stuff!”

And please tell us you know now how to make a good brew…

“I’m no barista, but I’m sure I could put together a basic cup of tea – just don’t get it anywhere near my white teeth!”

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Screenshot: The Big Hospital Experiment S1 E2 – iPlayer

 

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