Head of Chaplaincy stars in new TV series ‘Geordie Hospital’

First published on: 14th January 2022


Head of Chaplaincy at the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Revd Capt Katie Watson is one of the main characters featuring in Channel 4’s fly-on-the-wall documentary ‘Geordie Hospital’.

The six-part series, which began on 17 January, follows the trust’s staff through a shift, featuring a cast from porters to surgeons, and dental nurses to sewing room ladies.

Katie, who has been Head of Chaplaincy since December 2020, was tasked with showing the crew the inner workings of the trust. This included Poppy Jingles, the chaplaincy team dog, to which she credits her involvement in the documentary. She said: “Maybe it was the fact Poppy Jingles was with me, because before I knew it I found myself as one of the characters that the series would feature!

“The executive chief nurse here at Newcastle Hospitals says of the chaplains ‘they get where only water can,’ and this is very true. As a team we are intrinsically embedded in the life of the trust, providing the gifts of presence and time for staff, patients and relatives.

“As such, when it came to showing the crew around, I was able to show the many cogs of the trust and how each is necessary to enable to keep the whole organisation moving.”

Filming for the show took place in the summer, and was subject to a range of everchanging government and Department of Health and Social Care Covid requirements. This ensured infection prevention, confidentially and safety while filming.

Speaking on the impact of the series, Katie added: “The key thing for me to get across in the programme - and I really hope it does - is to myth bust the beliefs about what chaplains do and don’t, and to enable people to see the full breadth and depth of the NHS.

“I would really hope people go away thinking about their patient/relative experience and how many trades/jobs they have come into contact with, or who may have been a necessary yet unseen cog in the Newcastle Hospitals.”

Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor, Rita Daniels said: “This is an exciting brand-new series that features an incredible collection of inspiring, passionate and dedicated hospital staff.  In each of the episodes you can clearly see their dedication, deep felt connection and enthusiasm for the patients they meet every day.”

Camila Lewis of CEO Curve Media said: “It was incredibly humbling to film with the fantastic staff who are at the heart of Newcastle Hospitals. Through their eyes we experience the beauty and complexities of their patients and the NHS.”

As Head of Chaplaincy, Katie oversees a team of 14 chaplains from a variety of religious beliefs - including Sikh, Hindu, Jewish, Humanist, Pastoral, Muslim and Christian faiths – to provide spiritual support and comfort to patients.

Geordie Hospital is aired on Mondays at 8pm on Channel 4 until Monday 28 February, and previous episodes are available on All 4.

Powered by Church Edit