Ambulance (Series 12) on BBC One


Ambulance returns for a new series, taking us into the heart of Greater Manchester, showcasing the relentless efforts of the North West Ambulance Service.


This region, notably affected by the cost-of-living crisis, sees the ambulance service as a crucial lifeline for those grappling with numerous challenges.

The service strives to provide emergency care to over seven million residents during some of the most demanding times in the NHS’s 75-year history.

The episode unfolds on a Wednesday, marking the beginning of a strenuous 12-hour shift. Early on, the control team faces an alarming situation with a report of an unexploded bomb near a primary school and a nursery, prompting a swift response from the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and the bomb squad. A 100m safety cordon is established, and a controlled explosion is planned, fortunately concluding without any injuries.

Simultaneously, a different challenge emerges as ambulances queue outside Oldham General Infirmary, facing significant delays. Dispatchers Chloe and Andy grapple with increasing wait times, already exceeding two hours.

A poignant moment arises with a call about an elderly woman blown over by the wind near a bus station. Upgraded to a Category 2 emergency, paramedics Adam and Matt attend to her, suspecting a broken hip, and ensure her safe transport to the hospital.

Mid-shift, another bomb threat intensifies the day’s tension, leading to an evacuation of a school playing field and the deployment of several ambulance resources.


As the day nears its end, the service confronts a rising wait time for Category 1 ambulances, now 13 minutes, surpassing the target response time. In a touching encounter, paramedics Andrea and Michelle care for a patient who once worked alongside Andrea, offering comfort and reassurance despite her health struggles.

Senior paramedic Matt faces a sombre task when dispatched to a 72-year-old male who has passed away. Matt, also a vicar, offers a prayer for the patient, blending physical care with spiritual solace.

Meanwhile, the control team manages an overwhelming call volume, with some patients facing waits of over nine hours for an ambulance.

In Bury, Andrea and Michelle respond to an elderly lady who has had a fall. Upon learning of her recent loss, they demonstrate profound empathy and kindness on their way to the hospital.


Filmed amidst profound uncertainty within the NHS, this episode underscores the ambulance service’s pivotal role in delivering exceptional care under immense pressure.

Ambulance airs on BBC One on Wednesday, 31 January 2024 at 9:00PM

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