In a recent blog post on http://www.lexology.com Tom Gough has discussed what “special measures” mean for a NHS hospital. Specifically, he highlighted the fact that there are both multiple reasons for which a hospital can be placed in special measures, and multiple ways in which those factors can be resolved. This holistic approach is important because it seeks to correct the misdiagnosis which occurs in the general press when such services are labelled.
More specifically, the blog post discussed the situation of Barts Health NHS Trust. The BBC has reported on this particular case: this was the result of the health service regulator the Care Quality Commission. It is important to understand that there were no direct concerns raised regarding patients – and yet it was in those terms in which the special measures were discussed. The story run by the Mirror did not mention many of the factors of the report – preferring to focus on what was probably the reason for commissioning the story in the first place.
Whilst journalism has an important role to play in any society, we should question the boundaries. This has clearly been discussed before in respect to national security – but what about the cases were stories discourage individuals to seek health care? Should this carry consequences?