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John Robertson:

From BBC UK yesterday:

An independent review will be held into maternity services at the East Kent NHS Trust after up to 15 babies died there in recent years. Nadine Dorries, minister for patient safety, pledged immediate action and said NHS England would investigate the two hospitals in Margate and Ashford.


Notice that the minister did not apologise, nor did BBC UK expect her to. The board is to blame, and all know that. Imagine what Reporting Scotland could have made of this? 15 dead babies so several mums sobbing for their callous cameras and the minister forced into apology for something she could not control.

Reporting Scotland, in the absence of a current story they can exploit could consider returning to their September 2018 horror report using a single death to spread fear pf Scottish maternity units, to see how the mum is coping.

A vase of flowers sitting on a table

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I suppose we should be grateful that was all they showed us

Here’s what I wrote then:

Reporting Scotland’s regular ‘ambulance-chasing’ disclosures of single or rare cases of failure in NHS Scotland remains their favourite proxy strategy to side-swipe the SNP by association with that case. Last night they fell further into the foul-smelling mire than even the Sun or the Daily Mail might go, with the story of the decapitation of a baby in childbirth.

I found it hard to consider just typing that phrase but to want to dwell on it, to savour it and to exploit the grief-stricken mother, in the pretence that this is all about the rights of that mother, is nauseating.

Of course, the case should be pursued with the authorities and, if necessary, with the support of politicians but to dramatize it in this way for public titillation, is beyond belief. I note that even Ruth Davidson has not sought to use the story.

The report itself, with images of the baby scan and extended focus on the face of the teddy-bear-hugging mother was, for me, unwatchable.

Remember, if you can, that this is our public service broadcaster with a royal charter to educate, to inform and to entertain us. Which of those three purposes did this serve?