Healthcare: On the Agenda - Forty hospitals need to reform

In a nutshell

Forty hospitals in the UK will fail in the next two years without radical reform, Tony Blair's former health adviser has warned. In a report published by the independent think-tank Reform, Professor Paul Corrigan, who was the health special adviser to Blair during his time as prime minister, said that failure to change could cost Britain £5bn to rescue the hospitals.

Why is it important?

Hospital closures are currently avoided using reserves held by the Department of Health. According to the report, the Chancellor will have to find an additional £5bn by 2013 if the Government wants to continue to protect all of England's hospitals from closure unless they fundamentally remodel. Corrigan claimed 'the old model and concept of the hospital are failing', leading to poor standards of care in far too many bankrupt institutions. 'In the coming years a minimum of 40 hospitals will have to go through a fairly radical transformation process,' he said.

PR strategy

Reform handled the media outreach for the story in-house. A press release was sent out on 14 September, embargoed until midnight. Follow-up calls were made to all of the news desks that were sent the release.

Media coverage

The story was widely covered in the UK media. Coverage highlights on 15 September included The Guardian (page 5), The Telegraph, Press Association and a 'Personal View' piece on the Telegraph website by Paul Corrigan.

40 - Number of hospitals that risk closure if they fail to reform

£5bn - Amount that would be needed to bail out the NHS by 2013.

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