Hospitals defend PR spend as vital comms function

Dublin: Two Irish hospitals, recently slammed for spending thousands of pounds on PR after announcing they were to axe over 220 beds, have hit back at the criticisms.

The Beaumont and Mater Hospitals in Dublin – two of four hospitals that were the focus of an investigation by The Irish Independent last week – have defended their spending on PR consultants.

The paper claimed documents reveal the four hospitals splashed out £183,027 on PR over 2001 and 2002 – news which followed announcements by the hospitals that they were to close hundreds of beds.

But Slattery comms director Conor Dempsey, who represents Mater hospital said the claims were ‘juvenile’.

A spokesman for the Beaumont added: ‘[We] would be surprised at any suggestion that money is being spent inappropriately on ensuring communities are properly informed.’

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