Humanitarian crisis? Controversial British Red Cross statement on NHS improved its image, research finds

The public's perception of the British Red Cross (BRC) improved after it said the NHS was facing a "humanitarian crisis", research for PRWeek sister title Third Sector shows.

BRC said the NHS in dire straits (©Derek Godson)
BRC said the NHS in dire straits (©Derek Godson)

The charity was criticised by some newspapers and some Conservative politicians in January after the comment was made by Mike Adamson, the charity’s chief executive.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said in parliament that the remarks were "irresponsible and overblown".

But a survey of 537 adults, carried out by the research agency Harris Interactive for Third Sector in late January and early February, found that 53 per cent of respondents said they were more likely to support the charity in the wake of the comments.

Researchers found that 52 per cent of respondents said the charity’s actions had made them trust the charity more, and 48 per cent said they were more likely to donate to the charity.

Fifty-seven per cent of respondents said the BRC was right to make the comments about the state of the NHS, and 24 per cent said it should not have done so. Respondents aged over 65 were the most likely to say that the charity should not have made the comments.

Asked to comment on the survey, Adamson said in a statement: "As the health secretary has said himself, the NHS is under sustained pressure and demand is unprecedented.

"This is certainly a very human crisis, at scale. The voluntary sector, the NHS, the government and others must mobilise together to help the large numbers of vulnerable people who, without action, will continue to face a threat to their health, safety or wellbeing."

This story originally appeared on PRWeek sister title Third Sector. Click for the voluntary sector title's full analysis of the incident

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