When is Channel 4’s real-life drama The Cure on TV?

Everything you need to know about Channel 4's real-life drama about Julie Bailey, an ordinary Stafford resident who exposed one of the worst hospital care scandals in the NHS's history

Julie (Sian Brooke)

Channel 4 have produced a factual drama inspired by the struggles of ordinary Stafford resident Julie Bailey, whose campaigning helped uncover one of the worst hospital care scandals in the history of the NHS.

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Both inspiring and heartbreaking, the series stars Sherlock actress Sian Brooke as Bailey, and Sue Johnston (The Royle Family) as her elderly mother Bella. Here’s everything you need to know about The Cure… 


When is Channel 4’s The Cure on TV?

The Cure – formerly known as The Whistleblower – will air on Thursday 19th December at 9pm on Channel 4.

What was the Stafford Hospital scandal?

In 2007 Julie Bailey, an ordinary woman from Stafford, began making regular trips to Stafford Hospital where her 86-year-old mother Bella had been admitted with a treatable hernia condition. 

At the hospital the family witnessed appalling conditions, as patients were neglected; left in soiled sheets for hours; found drinking water from flower vases due to dehydration; and living in filthy wards. Even though her concerned family refused to leave her side, eight weeks after Bella was first admitted she died due to neglect and gross negligence.

Julie Bailey (Getty Images)
Julie Bailey (Getty Images)

Following Bella’s death, Julie began to speak out, launching a campaign called Cure the NHS and even opening a cafe that later formed an unofficial meeting point for others with similar experience’s to her own family’s. The pressure of the campaign and press scrutiny eventually revealed a hospital trust that had been prioritising performance levels and statistics at the expense of patient care and hundreds of lives, resulting in a public inquiry that yielded 290 recommendations aiming to safeguard patient safety. 

Who stars in Channel 4’s The Cure?

Laura (Hannah Rae), Bella (Sue Johnston) and Julie (Sian Brooke).
Laura (Hannah Rae), Bella (Sue Johnston) and Julie (Sian Brooke).
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Sian Brooke (Sherlock, The Moorside) leads the cast as Julie Bailey, while Sue Johnston (The Royle Family, Downton Abbey) plays her mum, Bella. Hannah Rae (Broadchurch) also stars as Julie’s daughter, Laura, while Tamla Kari (Britannia, The Musketeers) plays compassionate nurse Helene.