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Becki O

Is Cecil the Lion really more important to the UK population than our NHS?

Becki O

Over 209,000 signatures have been added to the government petition site calling for a debate on a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Hunt after his attacks on NHS consultants on the 16th July 2015. He was given airtime across the BBC and other news outlets to blame 6,000 deaths a year on a lack of professionalism and vocation across consultants in the NHS, yet news of the unprecedented petition his claims prompted have not reached their websites, debates or front pages.

Since the Health Secretary’s attack on his senior staff, Doctors and other NHS staff and supporters have been rallying to defend the NHS with evidence based defence against the Health Secretary’s claims - such as a Freedom of Information request which has so far shown that of out of over 5,000 consultants whose trust has responded so far, only 1 has chosen to ‘opt out’. This consultant had not in fact ‘opted out’ of weekend working, they had in fact ‘opted out’ of a 48 hour working limit imposed by the European Working Time Directive to be able to work longer hours. Again, this has not been considered newsworthy.

The figure that Jeremy Hunt quoted to give evidence for the need for 7-day a week routine work was based on a study looking at those admitted on the weekend, the majority of whom were likely to have been emergency admissions, who would be cared for by the thousands of consultants across the UK under their current contract.

Doctors flooded social media with the hashtag #ImInWorkJeremy  in the days after his attack to remind him that the NHS already provides 24/7 care. There are likely to be many reasons for the quoted difference in mortality, but these have not been fully explored, and are universal across . Yet no discussion about whether the evidence on which Mr Hunt plans to force through changes to consultant contract may be flawed or have been misinterpreted seems to have made it onto BBC or right-wing mainstream news.

If you Googled for "Cecil the Lion BBC" today you will find daily, if not hourly updates about the story, with the first 2 pages of BBC produced content, followed by hundreds of updates from a wide breadth of publications and experts from each side have been offered debate on mainstream news and radio shows.

If you Googled for “Jeremy Hunt petition BBC” or “#WeNeedToTalkAboutJeremy BBC” you would have found no results!

The BBC themselves in the 2015 election campaign stated NHS 'most important issue' suggests BBC/Populus poll , yet why are they not reporting on the united concerns of an unprecedented number of NHS staff, yet can find plenty of space for regular updates about Cecil?

As StephenPaulBlanchard asks in his blog, Is The UK Government Banning Mainstream Media From Reporting On One Of The Most Important Stories Of The Year?

The staff of the NHS are in full support of a 7-day NHS, but not on 5-day funding.

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Views(2127) Opinions(2) 07/30/2015 23:45:38 Report abuse


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Becki O
Becki O - Government proposes inquiry into moving to a 'pay NHS' - Not reported widely, yet surely this is big news, and something we would wish to hear David Cameron's opinion on?
07/31/2015 19:49:38
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Becki O
Becki O To clarify, I have been horrified to hear of Walter Palmer and his accomplices actions, and interested to hear updates around Cecil's story, but I would like such important news on the NHS to be covered too, as I think both are in the public interest.
07/31/2015 19:49:36
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