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
The facts, not opinions, are:
1. 1.. The news was announced n 15th December, when it was extensively
discussed in a House of Lords Committee.
2. 2. 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
3. 3. It is literally ludicrous to
suggest that 8 out of 10 hospitals could increase their private work 25-fold.
4. 4. Without the Government amendment on 15th December the cap
would have been lifted entirely. If therefore the announcement is regarded as a
key negative development, people must misunderstand.
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.