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
KickAssTorrents down: biggest file-sharing site moves to .cr domain after takedowns
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Watch teenager Collin Burns break the Rubik's Cube world record by solving puzzle in just 5.25 seconds
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
'Are you beach body ready?' backlash: Protein World boss labels feminist campaigners 'terrorists'
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...