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G324 ‘The boudiccae’ – 21st century mothers’ voices – a short film
  1. AN Williams
  1. Virtual Academic Unit, Childrens’ Directorate, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton, UK


Previous histories presented at this meeting have separately covered individuals, institutions, specialities, subspecialties, and technology in the evolution of paediatrics and child health care.

Dr Hannah Newton’s work has demonstrated the importance of mothers’ voices in early modern England (1580–1720).1 With medical advances leading to children surviving with evolving chronic disability, what would historians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries have to say about the voices of mothers of such children with ‘special needs’ ?

‘The Boudiccae’ is a 21st century project created firstly as a 9 voiced play and now as a short film based around 4 such voices. It is a performance piece of interlocking monologues of North-amptonshire (UK) mothers who have children with special needs. It encapsulates what are the principal child health issues today; such managing chronic evolving complex disability, palliative care, child adoption and acceptance of children with complex needs by their non-disabled peers.

It highlights the families’ perspective and what they encounter when raising a child with complex health needs.

I hope this film will teach compassion in the light of the Francis Report (2013).2 Its target audience is trainee healthcare professionals (medical, nursing, health visiting) whose limited experience of life means they have little to draw on when faced for the first time with children with complex needs and their families.

A trailer can be viewed on:

I will gladly offer showings to educational institutions responsible for training healthcare professionals. Please email me to discuss further.

Acknowledgements The film was produced by RIG Film Productions. The script was devised by Andrew N. Williams and the screenplay written by Andrew N. Williams and Darren White. The director is Darren White.

Northampton General Hospital Charitable Funds, Waitrose Community Fund (2 appeals), the Virtual Academic Unit and an anonymous donor funded the film.


  1. Newton, H. (2012) The Sick Child in Early Modern England, 1580–1720. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp262. ISBN 9780199650491.

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