OPINION: Public Relations is a necessity in the NHS

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 12.12.16The NHS have been getting a hard time lately, be it with poor patient treatment, corrupt waiting lists or sloppy medical procedures however I think that the latest news of the BBC comes as an attack on the industry we relay upon on a day-to-day basis.

A BBC London investigation has found that NHS London has spent almost £13m in the last three years on public relations.

Through the Freedom of the Information Act the BBC found the money, which was enough to recruit 600 nurses was dished out to press officer salaries at hospitals and private PR companies.

Some trusts have said that PR was necessary to educate the public on health issues.

Research revealed that 82 press officers were receiving an average salary of £37,278.

Now, being a press officer myself and a working journalist I know the importance of both PR and finding important stories like these.

I do believe that money spent on PR is necessary to make the public aware of both health issues and what services the NHS provide.

In an economically crippling world I think it is time that people start to take responsibility of their health and obviously when needed to go to NHS services.

At the end of the day the NHS is like a business and what businesses need is publicity. If they aren’t using twitter, sending out press releases and keeping the public informed they wouldn’t be running properly.

I do not believe that all press officers are worthy of their high salaries, however biased views of a press officer aside, they are vital for the workings of the NHS.

I think what could be done to ease the public’s condemning view of the NHS at the moment is to take a page out of Barclays Bank’s book and be more transparent about how much money goes to each sector – after all we are paying taxes.


About hparr247

Glasgow Caledonian University journalism student who has studied at Stony Brook University in New York. Curious and amazed about the world, what it is up to, and its people.
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