Phil Hammond.

Polyoaks

BBC Radio 4 sitcom set in a doctor surgery. 26 episodes (5 series), 2011 - 2017. Stars Nigel Planer, Simon Greenall, David Westhead, Margaret Cabourn-Smith and others.

Press Clippings

Polyoaks (Radio 4, 11.30am), a bitingly topical satire (written by Dr Phil Hammond and David Spicer) on changes currently sweeping the National Health Service, continues with ambitious Doctor Hugh (Simon Greenall) scheming to get on even faster with the powers that be by playing squash. Difficult, as his hip isn't working very well and he hates seeing a doctor.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 30th November 2012

The new Friday morning comedy on Radio 4, Polyoaks, is about the revolution soon to come when general practitioners take over from Primary Care Trusts in handling funds. Co-written by David Spicer and practising medical satirist Dr Phil Hammond, it has closely observed character types in Dr Roy (Nigel Planer) and his brother Dr Hugh (Tony Gardner) who pursue their father's old medical practice in the house they were born in. They have a canny manager in Betty (Celia Imrie) who has taken on the retraining of Dr Jeremy (famous from TV but recently involved in scandal) because the fee the state pays for doing this is so big. While the writers are careful to indicate that much of what is happening now began under the Blair-Brown governments they are scarily predictive about the dangers of putting large budgets into the hands of people not trained to handle them. Listen and learn. Frank Stirling, sharp as a hypodermic, directs for independents Unique.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 7th June 2011

Here's daring. This new four-part comedy by David Spicer and the tartly witty Dr Phil Hammond is about two brother doctors getting to grips with the new National Health Service, the one just over the horizon where all the funds are to be transferred from area Health Authorities to General Practitioners. The power shift is momentous. The risks will be many. The cast is marvellous, including Celia Imrie, Nigel Planer, Phil Cornwell, Carla Mendonça. As there's no preview disc it remains to be heard whether the script lives up to the promise of its premise.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 3rd June 2011