Letter - NHS comms is never far from next crisis...

Your feature on the NHS 'crisis' ('How NHS woes became a media maelstrom,' 16 June) must have made rather tired reading for those of us who have had to struggle along in health service PR for many years. For us there are a number of rules we live and die by.

Firstly, an 'NHS crisis' comes around every two years. Your headline could have been picked off any similar front page of the past 30 years.

Secondly, government will always say everything is wonderful - and the opposition will say all is doomed.

Thirdly, politics always influences final decisions. Ministers might talk tough, but a hospital suffering that dreaded term 'cuts', or even potential closure, is a serious career-shortening threat for any MP. You can be sure that health ministers are already receiving an earbashing in the corridors of Westminster by worried colleagues.

Actually, quite a few trusts have been handling the latest 'crisis' with sensitivity and not a little skill - and getting the backing of their local media. That's down to good work by trusts' comms teams.

If there is a difference this time round, it's that they are doing the good work in the knowledge that some of those job cuts just might involve them, too.

Mark Purcell, director, Nexus Healthcare.

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