Jade is a 16 year old, just starting her A levels. She’s articulate, although lacking in life-experience and she’s hot-headed and opinionated. At school, she’s competitive and ambitious, but a misguided one-night stand in the summer means she’s in the early stages of pregnancy. She suffers from epilepsy and is used to attending appointments at her local hospital where she is an out-patient.
This is a regular part of her life and because of this, she feels she is equipped to deal with all aspects of the NHS.
Point of Conflict
As Jade is epileptic, the stakes are very high regarding her health and her baby’s health and Jade doesn’t like the lack of control and reacts against the constant monitoring (which she perceives as ‘bossiness’). Jade is at odds with the system because she is in the grey area between child and adult services. The situation is also putting her relationship with her parents under strain. The NHS must accommodate Jade’s fierce independence and Jade’s parents who are Irish Catholic and have strong views themselves. The storyline also highlights how other welfare services connect with the NHS – the ‘joined-upness’ or lack of it e.g communication with the social worker and the educational psychologist.
Story Arc in Edward Jenner Programme
In series 1 Jade reveals she is pregnant and receives anti-natal care with all the tensions and conflicts this provokes. We meet midwives, obstetricians and a social worker. Series 2 follows the birth of the baby who is born with a cleft palate. This raises the question of what caused it: is this the legacy of anti-epilepsy drugs? Jade has to deal with post-natal care around feeding problems and social services and a community nurse. The Ed Psych at the school picks up on feelings of guilt and post-natal depression which hadn’t been noticed.