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And finally...


Blog headlines

  • Risk stratifying elective care patients
    10 September 2020

    This blog has been shared by MBI healthcare technologies. As services are starting to treat routine patients those on waiting lists are making enquiries as to where they are on the list, and if they are still on the list.

  • Link of the week
    4 September 2020

    This week the link we would like to share are reflections from physiotherapy students on placement at Alzheimer Scotland https://letstalkaboutdementia.wordpress.com/

  • Link of the week
    28 August 2020

    This week we would like to share a blog published on the Mind website about being a BAME health worker in the pandemic.

  • Remote clinical triage model
    20 August 2020

    This week we are sharing how a remote clinical triage model was implemented at Tollgate Medical Centre. This has been shared with us by Sarah Portway, a Nurse, and Clinical Services Manager at Tollgate Medical Centre.

  • Can the Community Pharmacy become the gateway to integrated care in the NHS?
    13 August 2020

    The NHS is a continually evolving innovative demand led public service the role of the Community Pharmacist is becoming the public face on a journey to the more responsible public engagement in the personal care of individuals and their family. There are currently over 11000 Pharmacies many are single or small chain service providers, while multiples occupy the urban shopping centres and more densely populated conurbations, the value of the rural High Street can’t be understated.

  • Crunch time for patient involvement
    7 August 2020

    There are new challenges for primary care, which could really do with patient input. Mike Etkind, chair of a PPG and founding member of his PCN’s patient group, recognises the size of the task clinical directors have managed over the last few months but identifies two particular issues where patients have a necessary and valuable contribution, that need to be addressed now – the 2020 vaccination programme and primary care from a distance- total triage, remote consultations, and the use of telemedicine.

  • Link of the week - Visionbridge
    31 July 2020

    The link we are sharing this week was submitted by Julian Jackson, Visionbridge.

  • Links of the week
    23 July 2020

    This week we are sharing two articles with you.

  • Link of the week
    21 July 2020

    The blog is from the perspective of the Company Chemist Association's Chief Executive Malcolm Harrison.

  • Link of the week
    9 July 2020

    This week we are sharing a blog from the NHS Confederation’s “NHS Reset” looking at the work of Healthwatch, the role of volunteers in supporting patients being discharged from hospital and the importance of the community.

  • Virtual education sessions on spinal cord injury from Spinal Injuries Association
    2 July 2020

    This week Karen Mikalsen from the Spinal Injuries Association shares some information on their work and events for healthcare professionals.

  • Guest blog:Karen Chumley
    25 June 2020

    Thank you to Karen Chumley for a second blog –this time on the local use of an Electronic Palliative Care Coordination system during the Covid-19 pandemic. Karen is the Clinical Director and Deputy CEO at St Helena.

  • Link of the week
    19 June 2020

    This week's link of the week is article by Yasmin Khanagha published in Nursing Times – Why we need to open the conversation about racism.

  • Guest blog: Dr Karen Chumbley
    12 June 2020

    This week we have a guest blog submitted by Dr Karen Chumbley, clinical director and deputy chief executive at St Helena (https://www.sthelena.org.uk/)

  • Social care to become lifestyle brand
    16 April 2020

    Social care is to get a new brand identity as the government seeks to reverse the perception that it is the poor relation of the NHS.

  • Blithering Covid-19 bulletin plays vital role
    2 April 2020

    To fill a gap in the market for timely and relevant Covid-19 information, Martin Plackard, director of global crisis communications at NHS Blithering introduces his latest initiative to reach out to stakeholders during the outbreak.

  • Social distancing the Longstay way
    27 March 2020

    We asked Sir Trevor Longstay, chief executive of the NHS Blithering University Hospitals Foundation Trust and commander-in-chief of the Blithering Covid-19 Taskforce to give us some practical tips on social distancing. Here he shares some of the lessons learned over four decades of leadership – not all of them relevant or epidemiologically sound

  • Nothing left to shift: fears grow over NHS paradigm supply
    12 March 2020

    The government has issued a stark warning that stocks of paradigms and other basic supplies could soon run out if NHS managers continue panic-buying.

  • Matt Hancock’s diary – a week of levelling up
    27 February 2020

    Taking personal charge of global pandemics is one of the perks of this job. I’m referring to coronavirus, of course, and I’m booked to appear on Sky News to talk about it.

  • Exceeding your expectations: the Blithering staff survey
    20 February 2020

    Staff at NHS Blithering feel listened to “at least once a year” and report that their expectations of taking part in surveys have been “met” or “exceeded” in the past 12 months.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

And finally...

Broadcasters are warning of an imminent crisis as the BBC and other news media struggle to cope with rising demand for NHS stories.

Services are at breaking point as broadcasters run out of hospitals to film.

One distressed BBC producer said: “I’ve never known anything like it. I used to find it easy to get into my local hospital to film end-of-bulletin feel-good stories for quiet news days. Now the place is heaving and I’ve just been told I’m going to have to come back tomorrow.”

Hospitals report that wards and emergency departments are overrun with film crews, which are being forced to wait for hours in draughty corridors or are simply being turned away.

Not being seen

Tearful journalists who had spent days waiting in hospital complained of “not being seen” after their items ended up on cutting room floors. “You wait all that time for a doctor to do a piece to camera only to find that he’s already appeared on Good Morning,” said one.

Broadcasters also face growing waits for suitable patients to become available. One told us: “It’s no longer enough to find someone whose hernia operation has been cancelled. We’re looking for life-threatening conditions – heart attacks, road traffic accidents, that sort of thing. You try getting someone to fill out a release form when they’re unconscious. I don’t think the public really understand the pressure we’re under.”

Never going home events

There is growing alarm too at the number of safety incidents being reported.

At one hospital rival film crews were involved in an emergency dash to the bedside of an elderly woman after a rumour that she held the national record for a delayed transfer of care.

None of the crews involved in the incident were seriously hurt, but media bosses fear that it’s only a matter of time before one of these near misses turns into a so-called never event. “It would be a tragedy if something awful happened and no one was there to film it,” said one producer.  

Further cuts likely

There is little sign of the situation improving.

One news editor told us: “You can cope for a while, but this is just relentless. Day in and day out we’re seeing the same horribly boring things. If it’s bad for us, how much worse is it for viewers?”

With broadcasters working at 98% of capacity on NHS news, national media services could be unable to respond in the event of an emergency elsewhere, such as a big Brexit-related story featuring Diane Abbott or a travel ban on Methodists by Donald Trump.

A new threat appeared last week after reports that as many as 15% of A&E departments in England could be downgraded or even closed.

With less capacity in the system and with further to travel to an emergency department in future, broadcasters warn that urgent news services would inevitably suffer.

Five year forward viewers

Meanwhile bosses are desperately seeking to avert a disaster by creating credible “out of hospital” programmes.

“However many times we tell them there are more appropriate things they could be watching, viewers always turn to hospital dramas,” said a BBC spokesperson.

“Programmes featuring GPs were like watching paint dry”, she said, and broadcasters were struggling to find other popular formats.

A follow-up to the BBC’s documentary Hospital called Outpatients, which follows the fortunes of a hard working dermatology team, has been cancelled. Similarly, a rival ITV series set in a care home has run out of money and may now never be made.

Media editor: Julian Patterson


Lucy Hose
Lucy Hose says:
Feb 10, 2017 08:02 AM

This is so spot on. After a week of doom and gloom this has put a smile on my face. Thank you

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Feb 10, 2017 11:33 AM

Thanks, Lucy. You're welcome.

trevor jenkins
trevor jenkins says:
Feb 10, 2017 11:37 AM

This may yet prove to be true, as Mr Hunt has now admitted that there are problems "in some hospitals", instead of vomiting £bn and future workforce stats, which suggests a hospital chief executive really needs a camera crew to demonstrate that pressures are real.. Expect competitive behaviours from other channels, to add to the action?
The BBC have also proved to patients that in spite of everything they show in A&E, one can still get seen, even if one waits eg: 13 hours, by A&E staff, which is still quicker that a GP appointment.
My last GP appointment took 3 weeks, unless I wanted to do the 8am telephone-the-practice assault course methodology.

trevor jenkins
trevor jenkins says:
Feb 10, 2017 11:45 AM

the single most effective efficiency measure that Mr Hunt could achieve would be to create an All Party NHS Strategic group to take the corrosive adversarial politics away. No political Party is willing to propose how the NHS will be properly funded and managed while there are potentially vote-losing issues that need grown-up and mature discussions in front of the great British Public who want, in the Red-White&Blue way: a Champagne NHS on Cola taxation.

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Feb 10, 2017 12:42 PM

Good to hear from you, as ever, Trevor.

Anonymous says:
Feb 10, 2017 01:01 PM

Thank you, that's a breath of fresh air.

Anonymous says:
Feb 11, 2017 04:37 PM

In view of the current crisis I think, as a short-term measure, before the whole funding of the NHS is reassessed, a new (small) health tax should be put in place when people reach, say, 50 years of age. At this age most people have benefited from decades of use of the NHS and they are entering into a period when they will make more demands on the NHS and, unlike younger people who are still paying off huge mortgages, they can afford slightly more. The NHS should not be used as a political football and the staff should not be asked to cope with this strain every winter.

georgewebb70 says:
Feb 12, 2017 04:02 PM

Julian.i thought my days of commenting were past. This piece however ticks all my boxes. Keep up the good work.

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Feb 13, 2017 10:28 AM

Thank you, George.