today will be another difficult day in a very long line of difficult days for the many parents affected by the Mortonhall scandal.
None will take any satisfaction from the compensation being offered to them by the city in redress for the anguish that they have been through.
It is probably fair to say that to most outside observers the sums involved – £1000 and £4000 – will appear to be quite low. The way in which parents were misled about what happened to their babies’ remains has caused enormous distress to these grieving parents.
Trying to translate their emotional and mental suffering into a fixed sum of money was always going to be an impossible job. There could never be a right answer.
If some parents are angry and believe that the payments are not high enough, that will be easy to understand. Others do not want to receive a penny. Each will have a different view – and is entitled to deal with this in their own way.
Despite the obvious inadequacies of a compensation cheque as a means of redress, this was an important and necessary step.
The money will bring no comfort, but as recognition of the wrongs that have been done and sign of commitment to ensuring they do not happen again this was vital.
The alternative was unthinkable, a court case in which the painful details of each family’s individual suffering could have been debated and argued over. It is only right that the local authority has worked with the lawyers of the families involved to reach a quick agreement which might satisfy most of those involved and save them the ordeal of court.
The memorial garden planned for Mortonhall may bring some solace to these families and others who suffer future bereavements. But the only real solace will come in the ongoing efforts to learn from the scandal to ensure no one suffers like this again.