A hospital has been accused of filming couples at the moment they are told their babies have died for a documentary about stillbirth.
Midwives and charity chiefs have sparked outrage over the use of small cameras in a dark scan room at the Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge for a Channel 4 documentary.
It was claimed that hospital staff had been advised not to tell parents they are being filmed at the hospital over the last few weeks, but the TV firm completely deny that.
Parents have called for an apology from the hospital saying ‘there is an expectation of absolute privacy’ in the room.
But clinical lead of Women’s Services Jeremy Brocklesby defended the decision saying the documentary was aimed to ‘untabooise’ a very sad part of pregnancy.
Midwives and charity chiefs have sparked outrage over the use of small cameras in a dark scan room at the Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge for a TV documentary
Hospital chiefs said notices warning couples they were being filmed (pictured) were ‘adequate’
Yesterday, he said notices warning couples they were being filmed were ‘adequate’ and added: ‘It’s for a documentary that is being made about stillbirth.
‘Unless we get this out to the public conversation it will go no further, it will remain taboo.’
Dr Brocklesby also claimed the majority of pregnant women who had suffered a miscarriage who consent to being part of the film with the ‘right approach’.
He said: ‘Staff are not advised to say there’s cameras in rooms but if patients mention it the notice then they will happily talk about it.
‘I think there’s adequate notice. It’s flagged up – there are notices to suggest filming is taking place.’
The A4 posters warn CCTV is being filmed in small white cameras in the hospital’s Clinic 23 where couples are given bad news of their unborn babies.
The footage is deleted if the couple’s do not consent to being view to TV production staff.
A doula, who supports Cambridgeshire mothers throughout pregnancy, said: ‘It was a few weeks ago and a client old me that she had seen a post up in the Rosie and was quite worried she had been filmed..
Clinical lead of Women’s Services Jeremy Brocklesby defended the decision saying the documentary was aimed to ‘untabooise’ a very sad part of pregnancy
‘I emailed the head of maternity and didn’t get a response.
‘Most doulas have expressed extreme concerns to me and a number of their clients are quite worried and I do have midwife friends who agree with my staff on this.’
Human rights charity Birthrights has written to Addenbrooke’s Hospital raising concerns over the documentary.
Chief executive Rebecca Schiller said there were ‘moral and legal questions to be asked’ of the hospital.
She added the charity was seeking more information to see ‘if they are infringing women’s rights when they are giving away very very private information’.
She also raised concerns that mothers with poor English may not have read the posters.
A spokeswoman for Channel 4 told MailOnline: ‘Patients are made aware that that filming is taking place in parts of the clinic but that no footage of them will be viewed or downloaded in any way without their express permission.
‘There is no covert filming – anyone approached to take part in the programme will have the implications of taking part in filming clearly explained and all contributors have the right to withdraw their consent at any time.
‘Footage is wiped automatically after a few days without any human intervention. This is a sensitively-made, observational documentary about complex pregnancies and stillbirths, told from the point of view of parents as well as interviews with leading consultants in the field.
‘The aim of the programme, fully supported by senior medical staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, is to demystify stillbirth and remove the taboo surrounding the difficult subject matter.