Healthcare: On the Agenda - Patients group hits out at NHS care

In a nutshell

The Patients Association has published a collection of 17 first-hand accounts of the hospital care of older patients across the NHS. The stories highlighted serious failings in standards of nursing care, poor communication with relatives and an ineffective complaints-handling system.

Why has it done this?

The publication, Listen to Patients, Speak up for Change, marked the launch of a fundraising drive supported by the Daily Mail, to raise £100,000 to help fund a more active support service on the Patients Association Helpline.

What was in the report?

It consisted of 17 accounts of the poor care given to older patients admitted to NHS hospitals - 16 by relatives of patients and one by a patient. The failings included the lack of help with eating, drinking, personal hygiene and pain control.

PR strategy

The campaign was handled in-house by the Patients Association. After securing an exclusive with the Daily Mail, an embargoed press release was sent to national print, broadcast and online media. The PR team also mapped each case study, including that of Irene Schneider, by region and identified the media outlets in the area to drive regional awareness.

Coverage

The Daily Mail ran a front page story on 2 December, under the headline 'Neglect that shames Britain'. The next day, the Mail announced that it had donated £50,000 to the fund. The story also appeared on the Today programme, BBC Breakfast and ITV, plus local radio, TV and print outlets.

£100k - How much the Patients Association wants to raise

17 - The number of first-hand accounts in the report.

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