A blog that I wrote for the think tank 2020Health on 18th January 2012 discussed misleading, biased reporting on the Health and Social
Care Bill in the media. A story carried by the BBC was cited as an example. I have great respect for the BBC. They were selected as an example partly out of respect to illustrate how deep-rooted the problem is. My aim is not to criticise the BBC but rather
to set the record straight and in some small way to encourage better reporting.
I am saddened to say that the BBC has again today (19th January 2012) repeated
comments that are likely to prejudice their audience. In a news story published today the BBC say:
“One of the key developments
was the news, which emerged just after Christmas, that NHS hospitals would be allowed to do 49% of their work in the private sector - something which could potentially mean eight in 10 increasing their private work 25-fold.”
The facts, not opinions, are
1. The news was announced n 15 th December, when it was extensively discussed in a House
of Lords Committee.
Very few, if any, NHS hospitals will be allowed to reach the 49% cap because other statutory obligations would prevent this and because there are not enough private patients available. The 49% cap is viewed as a “belt
and braces” safeguard.
It is literally ludicrous to suggest that 8 out of 10 hospitals could increase their private work 25-fold.
4. Without the Government amendment on 15 th December the cap would have been lifted entirely. If therefore the announcement is regarded as a key negative development, people must misunderstand.
Additional thoughts can be found in my relevant 2020Health blog, in my comment posted with it in reply to a critic and in my tweets at @barbararesearch. You are now viewing my website
where you can find information about me and my other healthcare views.