digital file Black & White Sound 1943 20:30
Summary: The story of a health scheme which preceded the National Health Service in Scotland. A doctor in the 1940s, while waiting for the air ambulance which is to take a crofter's wife to Glasgow for a special operation, recalls how in the Scottish Highlands and the Western Isles at the turn of the century doctors were few and communications bad. He tells how, thanks to the Highlands and Islands Medical Service which was initiated and subsidised by the Government, the number of doctors and nurses was increased, communications were greatly improved, and the services were made available to all. The film was made in the Outer Hebrides and in the northern Highlands. Since the date of this film these services have been continued and developed by the National Health Service. 4 segments.
Title number: 18261
LSA ID: LSA/21418
Description: Segment 1 Opening credits. A map of the United Kingdom is seen, zooming in on the Outer Hebrides. As orchestral music plays, the landscape of the island is seen and a boat arrives at the port. A man disembarks and asks for directions. He walks to a house the name on the door is Dr MacWilliam. Inside, the doctor explains why he has called him in - the visitor is revealed to be a specialist. There is a woman on the island with a suspected ovarian cyst. They drive to her house, where she is being looked after by a nurse. The specialist washes his hands and prepares to examine her. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:04:44:12 Length: 00:04:44:12 Segment 2 After the examination, which is now shown, the doctors confer. They decide to arrange for an air ambulance to take her to hospital in Glasgow. They drive to the post office to send a telegraph and then back to the doctor's house. At the house, they talk about the medical services in the highlands and islands, the doctor saying that 30 years previously it was very different. In flashback, he is seen as a younger man working as a doctor on the islane. He explains that the population is small but widespread, and that they are poor so cannot afford to pay for medical care. In 1912 he receives a letter saying that the Highlands and Islands Medical Service Committee wishes to speak to him. The committee is seen. Time start: 00:04:44:12 Time end: 00:09:54:02 Length: 00:05:09:15 Segment 3 The doctor reports to the committee about the problems he faces. He is seen travelling on a horse and trap and by rowboat across the loch to reach patients. The district nurses walk or cycle to visit patients and there are very few telephones on the island. He insists upon the need for a proper medical service for this area. The two doctors are seen talking again and Dr MacWilliam talks about the situation now. He receives an annual grant to pay medical staff wages. This has brought down the cost of medical care so people can afford it. The doctors and nurses receive cars and the roads and telephone lines are improved. Nearby hospitals are enlarged and modern treatments such as x-rays are developed. Time start: 00:09:54:02 Time end: 00:15:17:19 Length: 00:05:23:17 Segment 4 More specialists work in the hospitals too an operating theatre is seen. The doctor says that he did not believe that this time would come. The two doctors drive to the patient's house with a stretcher and meet her husband. They explain what will happen to him. They carry the patient out to the field, where the air ambulance lands. The doctor and husband wave the ambulance off. End credits. Time start: 00:15:17:19 Time end: 00:20:30:18 Length: 00:05:12:24
Credits: Story by Kay Mander, photographed by Teddy Catford, music by Jan Whyte, script by Roger MacDougall.
Cast: the doctor: Alex Mackenzie; the specialist: Hugh Miller; the crofter: Angus Macdonald; the patient: Joan Mackie; the nurse: Evelyn Clark
Further information: This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archvie THIS TITLE IS EMBARGOED UNTIL 2012
Keywords: National Health Programs; Public Health; Hospitals; Physicians Nursing Nurses; Ovarian Cysts
Locations: United Kingdom; Scotland; Outer Hebrides