ITV1 documentary to show 'extraordinary suffering' of Nottingham families affected by maternity scandal

Sarah and Jack Hawkins pictured at home in Nottingham
-Credit: (Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)


A new ITV1 documentary will give an in depth look at the "extraordinary suffering" of families affected by the Nottingham maternity scandal. The hour-long programme, scheduled to air on Sunday (June 9) night, follows the parents of babies who died in the care of Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) Trust as they deal with their trauma and try to get accountability.

More than 1,900 families are part of an ongoing independent review into hundreds of baby deaths and injuries at Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) - the biggest in NHS history. A separate criminal investigation into the trust, which runs the Queen's Medical Centre and City Hospital, was announced by Nottinghamshire Police in September.

Among the stories told in the documentary, made by the award-winning Pulse Films, is that of Jack and Sarah Hawkins, who first exposed failures in the care of their daughter Harriet, who was stillborn in 2016. Speaking about the upcoming programme, Mr Hawkins said: "It shows what it's really like living with the grief, with trying to get something that might be called justice.

Families wishing to contact the independent review can do so by emailing nottsreview@donnaockenden.com or by filling out an online form here

"It's not just that we lost a baby but the actions after that which continue to cause so much trauma and grief. It didn't need to be like this. Harriet's dead and we wish she wasn't. We have suffered extraordinarily when we should've been cared for.

"We want accountability. We want justice and change. We want other families to feel like they have the strength to raise concerns that they have or had."

Mr Hawkins said the documentary crew had been filming with them since summer last year, giving them "more opportunity to delve into the depths of the issue". He added: "I'm excited to finally see it after all this time.

"There's so much here that hasn't fit in despite the extraordinary work by the documentary team. The story is bigger even than this." Sarah and Gary Andrews, whose baby Wynter died in 2019, will also appear in the documentary.

NUH were fined £800,000 over its failures in her care in January 2023. The stories of Natalie Needham, Carly Wesson and Carl Everson, Felicity Benyon and Ama and Sharma Thomas will also feature.

There will also be an interview with the chair of the independent review, senior midwife Donna Ockenden, as well as access to an anonymous whistle-blower. Anthony May, chief executive of NUH, said: “I know we have failed too many women and their families, and I acknowledge the pain and suffering they continue to experience as a result. For that, I am truly sorry.

NUH chief executive Anthony May
NUH chief executive Anthony May -Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post

“I recognise the strength it takes to share experiences in the way that families have, and I am grateful to all those who have engaged with me since I joined NUH in 2022. I am clear that we must listen to women and families and act on their feedback if we are to continue our improvement and rebuild the trust in our services.

“It is my hope that the review will give those involved the answers that they deserve. We support the review fully and continue to work closely with Donna and her team. We receive regular feedback from Donna, which we incorporate into our maternity improvement programme."

Maternity: Broken Trust will air on ITV1 at 10.15pm on Sunday, June 9.