Hospital to be star of TV reality doco

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Scrutiny of Lakes District Hospital isn’t limited to the National Health Board – it’s also become the focus of three filmmakers. 

Dunedin doctor-turned-director Paul Trotman, cameraman Scott Mouat and Auckland producer Malcolm Hall plan to spend the next two years filming doctors, nurses and patients at the hospital for a 90-minute documentary to eventually be aired on TV3. 

Focusing solely on the Frankton medical facility, it will track progress of the recent recommendations made by the NHB’s expert panel and capture stories of people needing medical care at LDH. 

The men – who have worked in Dunedin’s Natural History unit and are behind national documentaries Xeno and Curse of the Elephant Man – have approval from the Southern District Health Board to film. 

During the process they’ll be assisted by local and former fellow Natural History colleague Peta Carey. 

“I work in rural hospital medicine around Otago and Southland so it’s a bit of an interest of mine,” Trotman – who won the best NZ director award at this year’s Documentary Edge Festival – explains. 

“The issues that affect a smaller hospital are the same that affect a big hospital but they affect them slightly differently. 

“In a small hospital it’s that much more enclosed, immediate and real.” The trio are eager to find medical cases to follow, Trotman adds. 

“We’ll also be at big events like New Year’s Eve and Winter Festival. We’re hoping to find somebody having their baby here and others having on-going treatment at either Dunedin or Southland Hospitals.”