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
Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
Free porn websites could be shut down within months, says David Cameron
National Orgasm Day: Six reasons (plus one bogus one) why they're good for us
The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
- 5 Doctors declare war on Jeremy Hunt over weekend working 'myths' amid plan for seven day NHS
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...