New and expectant parents say they are 'angry and upset' at last night's TV show The Rotunda.
They're hitting out at the fact that a TV crew was allowed into the hospital while some restrictions remained around partner visits.
It comes after episode one of the third series of The Rotunda was broadcast on RTÉ Two last night.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the hospital said minimal numbers of crew were on site, and filming in delivery suites took place through cameras operated remotely.
They say management at the Rotunda Hospital decided to proceed with filming as it is an important platform that allows patients and their families to share their pregnancy and birth stories with dignity and respect.
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Expectant mother Sue Murphy - project manage with Off the Ball - told Lunchtime Live she found the show "very upsetting".
She said: “I started to watch it, and then I just found it too upsetting to sit through the rest of it. I think a lot of pregnant women probably had the same reaction.
“It makes me really angry. Every single patient in that hospital has to provide their contact details to the hospital for any appointments. I can’t understand why the Rotunda couldn’t have been upfront with the patient about what was happening.
"Despite the fact they shouldn’t have [gone ahead], they should have been in contact with people to tell them that was happening.
“You pulled out all the stops to make sure this series was made, but partners still aren’t allowed into hospitals.”
Sue noted she has had to go for some scans and consultant appointments on her own.
She suggested it was "tone-deaf" for the hospital to go ahead with the production of the documentary.
'It should never have been made'
Barry, whose son was born at the hospital on Saturday, says it was "very annoying" to see the show being broadcast last night while visiting restrictions remain in place.
He said: “I was able to get into the birth - and that was fine. I can appreciate why some of the restrictions are in place at the moment.
"But at the moment I’m sitting outside the Rotunda because we had to come in for a check-up.
“You have two sleep-deprived parents who really should be together to hear what a doctor is saying about our son at the moment.”
Linda Kelly, meanwhile, is a patient advocate for Better Maternity Services.
She said: “It’s laughable almost, to be honest. I watched the whole thing… I’ve seen the statement.
“[The show] absolutely disregarded the restrictions - it was a voiceover twice in the show.
“Ultimately, it should never have been made. We are in the midst of a pandemic. Partners are still [facing] restrictions. The Rotunda has had some of the strictest restrictions.”
Rotunda and RTÉ statements
The full statement from The Rotunda states: “Management at the Rotunda Hospital decided to proceed with allowing the filming of The Rotunda TV series this year as it is an important platform that allows patients & their families to share their pregnancy & birth stories with dignity and respect, both joyous and heartbreaking.
“During this difficult time, we respect the sensitivities involved but believe that it is important to hear these stories and understand how maternity services operated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Filming took place with minimal numbers of crew on-site and strict infection prevention and control protocols were adhered to at all times.”
RTÉ, meanwhile, says it reduced its footfall for filming this season, and strict COVID-19 infection prevention and control protocols were followed at all times.