Channel 4 has commissioned a factual drama telling the story of the UK’s worst hospital care scandal of recent times, told through the eyes of the woman who blew the whistle on it.
The Cure (w/t) charts the scandal at Stafford Hospital which came to national attention in 2008. Conditions of horrendous neglect saw patients left for hours in soiled sheets, with no pain relief, desperately dehydrated, in filthy wards and routinely ignored by staff.
The film was commissioned by Alisa Pomeroy and will be made by Story Films, the producers of Channel 4’s verbatim drama The Interrogation of Tony Martin. It is told from the perspective of Julie Bailey, a local woman who witnessed the appalling conditions first hand when her elderly mother was admitted for a routine hernia procedure. The drama follows Julie’s story, the unforeseen divisions in the local community that resulted from her campaign and the official investigation into the hospital.
Julie, who went on to be awarded a CBE, formed a campaign group with other locals who had also lost loved ones called Cure the NHS. Together they exposed the dangers at the hospital in order to hold those responsible to account and ultimately force a public inquiry.
Amanda Duke, writer of The Cure, said: "I’m always interested in projects featuring extraordinary, inspiring real-life women so it’s been a real privilege to research and write this challenging and timely film for Channel 4. Julie’s story is incredibly moving, and whatever I thought I knew about Mid Staffs paled into insignificance the minute I met her and she started talking about what she and her family endured on Ward 11."
Alisa Pomeroy, Commissioning Editor at Channel 4, said: “This is a story of huge personal sacrifice with a profound national impact. The Mid Staffs scandal shook the country and raised urgent questions about the state of the NHS. These questions still resonate today, making this a timely and important story to tell.”
Writer: Amanda Duke
Producer: Kate Cook
Director: Bruce Goodison
Executive producers: David Nath, Paul Webster, Peter Beard
Production Company: Story Films
Commissioning Editor: Alisa Pomeroy