Commercialisation of NHS trust 'not healthy'
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Friday 01 June 2012
An NHS trust has set up an advertising agency to sell billboard space around its hospitals and on its website.
Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust hopes to earn £1m in five years and will offer the service to other trusts. The Patients Association condemned the move yesterday as an example of the creeping commercialisation of the NHS.
Ads will be vetted for suitability and will not include unhealthy foods, alcohol, funeral directors or accident-compensation companies.
Acceptable examples could include health-related products such as Stannah stairlifts and Benecol, the cholesterol-lowering margarines and yoghurts, a spokesperson for the trust said.
It is believed to be the first time an NHS trust has launched an advertising venture, though many trusts receive advertising income. The agency, Campus Media Solutions, is being jointly launched by the trust and its partner Big Brand Media, according to the medical newspaper Hospital Doctor.
The trust runs Addenbrooke's Hospital and a maternity hospital, has 1,000 beds and employs 7,000 people.
A spokesman said: "Our priority is to treat people who are sick. That is what we are here for. If we can make some money and put it back into patient care, that is what we want to do."
But Katherine Murphy, the chief executive of the Patients Association, said: "It is more evidence of how commercialised the NHS is becoming. It is a huge concern. The core purpose of the NHS is to make the sick better. This is distracting and moves the NHS away from the values of caring. Patients and the public don't view the NHS as an organisation promoting commercial ends... We are deeply concerned by this development."
Life & Style blogs
Holocaust Memorial Day: 70 years since Auschwitz liberation, these are the stories of survivors
Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
Snapchat got rid of the Best Friends feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
Food secrets: the good, the bad...and the faeces
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 4 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...
£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...