Daily Telegraph headline this morning: “15 babies poisoned by NHS drips”.
Terrifying – and entirely inaccurate.
Oh, 15 babies were poisoned by drips – and one has sadly died as a result – but the contamination is believed to have come from liquid feed manufactured by a private, London-based health company called ITH Pharma Ltd, and not from any equipment provided by the National Health Service.
Lazy reporting – or part of an ongoing campaign against the NHS by the privatisation-crazy right-wing press?
If the latter, it clearly backfired – as the public backlash against the story demonstrates.
Look at the ‘Comment’ column following the article. ‘Cochranereturns’ wrote: “Another headline from the DT trying to pin blame on the NHS when the fault lies outside the organisation. I complained to the Press Complaints Commission under clause one of their charter about the following headline last week: “NHS breaks promises after staff torture patients at Winterbourne View”: the PCC responded within 24 hours (and the DT removed the link I’d complained about). I suggest people do the same about this article.”
‘Cydee’: “Bad reporting.”
‘Mynydd’: “This is the result the right wing media, and Mr Cameron/Hunt’s philosophy that private companies through competition will always produce the cheapest product, quality, and quality control is of secondary importance.”
‘Percypottamus’ warns: “Much more blatantly Tory-inspired anti-NHS propaganda like this and I will be cancelling my subscription.” Good for you, Sir!
‘Ostercy’: “Odd how you try to blame the NHS for this and not private medicine.”
‘NitroFan’ raised another aspect of the ongoing NHS saga – the too-close relationship between private health firms and the MPs they sponsor, and to whose parties they donate. Or, as ‘NitroFan’ put it: “I would be extremely interested (doubt I am alone) to know who owns ITH Pharma Ltd and the basis on which their contract was awarded! And who awarded it!”
Wouldn’t we all?
On the Vox Political Facebook page, coverage of the story was universally condemned as well. “As usual blame socialised medicine and not the private company contracted to provide the service (devices) in the first place,” commented ‘The Bullingdon Club’.
Sean Young picked up on the obvious inconsistency in the way the story was presented: “Clearly the way to stop such terrible deaths caused by the incompetence of a private company is to increase privatisation!” Riiiiight…
And that’s just the reaction to the story in the Daily Telegraph. The image at the top of this article presents our favourite Angry Yorkshireman’s opinion of the Murdoch Media version of these events.
It won’t change the way these ignorant right-wingers try to influence your thinking but it is encouraging to see that the once-impressionable British public is having none of it.
The worm – it appears – has turned.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
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