A Blighty Tale: “A Doctor’s letter to British Journalists”

Dear Journalists and Editors of the BBC, Sky, Times, The Sun, Telegraph etc.

As someone who cares deeply about the NHS, I am so depressed and disappointed at your level of coverage at what is happening to our NHS.

Today was a crucial news day for what is happening to the NHS and yet the silence from your outlets was deafening.  It is falling apart and you are quite happy to either not mention it or repeat the lies and deceit coming from the government.

Where was the coverage of the release of data showing the worst ever NHS perfomance? Only 83% of  A&E patients are getting seen and sorted within 4 hours. In January alone 50,000 people waited over 4 hours on a trolley for a ward bed after it was decide they needed admission by the inpatient team. This is a quadrupling from January 2011.

The scene in the image is taken from a hospital in the north of England and from an article in the Daily Mirror. But it could be taken from any A&E hospital in the country. The problems of the NHS are showing up in the corridors of A&E departments up and down the country and yet you are not reporting on it to the level it needs.

Meanwhile,  waits for test are going up, targets for cancer treatments are being missed and ambulance response times are getting slower.  Patients are suffering and care is deteriorating and yet you are just repeating government spin and mistruths. 

And where was the coverage of the junior doctors strike? The government have ignored all expert advice, lied about junior doctors work commitment and ethics  and ploughed ahead to forcibly impose a new contract which will drive thousands away from the NHS and so risk patient safety. And yet you say little, or attack the integrity of doctors who make a stand against what is happening.

Where is the critical analysis of Hunt and Cameron’s arrogance and belligerence in forcing an unnecessary industrial dispute for their own political ideology?

And most importantly where was the coverage today of the planned second reading of the NHS reinststment bill in the House of Commons? A bill which  proposes to invest in the NHS and stop the privatisation and destruction of our NHS.

But the bill wasn’t even allowed to be debated in the House of Commons as Tory MPs deliberately over ran the previous debate to deny parliament the opportunity to discuss it. (I noticed they didnt let the debate run onto a  Saturday though). Yet few of you said anything.

Of course there are many examples of very good journalism on the NHS – both on a national and local level and on print, on line, TV and radio. But on the whole, many outlets,  place a lack of importance on this and  there seems to be a general bias against NHS staff and the ethos of the NHS.

What is happening to our NHS is scandalous and yet many of  you are being complicit in it. Why don’t you try and be more impartial for a change?  For example how about having doctors and nurses  debating against politicans on question time,  instead of being the voice of the government? (if you are looking for someone to debate the politicians, I and 54,000  doctors  would quite happily oblige)

The NHS was born in a time of great austerity and yet is being destroyed in the name of austerity. You as journalists, need to start listening to your viewers and readers and holding the government to account.  Because if you don’t, they will carry on this ideological destruction, and the NHS may not survive as we know it. Our kids may never forgive us.


Rob Galloway – @drrobgalloway
(A&E Consultant)

p.s. please feel free to share (ideally on public profile)  incase it gets noticed by the odd journalist or editor and then they might have a rethink about their coverage.


Weird & ₩○NdeRf#ll _____

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