Doctor Stephen Daker (Peter Davison, aka Fifth Doctor Who) joins the team of Jock McCannon (Graham Crowden, Waiting for God), who is head of the health department of the fictional Lowlands University. The team is completed by Rose Marie (Barbara Flynn) and Bob Buzzard (played by David Troughton, the son of Patrick Troughton, who played the second incarnation of Doctor Who).
Steeped in black humor and with quite a large helping of surrealism the programme follows Doctor Daker's struggle to fit in with the odd bunch of colleagues he ended up with. The series also portraits the commercialisation of the British health and eduction system in the 1980s. This is also a source of comic tension between Daker and Jock McCannon who are strongly in favour of egalitarian and humanitarian ideals on the one side and Bob Buzzard and Rose Marie on the other side who both, albeit in quite different ways, put their self-interest first.
A recurring gag is the appearance of a pair of quite rude nuns who have an ongoing dispute with the garbage men on campus. Another fine example of the programme's humor is the character Ron Rust (Joe Melia) who's presence on campus is explained by the fact that he owes the BBC £17.000 and does research for a comedy programme to pay his debt. This is ironically the exact motivation that spurred Andrew Davies to write A Very Peculiar Practice.
A TV film A Very Polish Practice (1992) follows the events of the series and is set in Poland, where the end of communism has brought about comparable changes in the health system.