The REAL truth about the crisis in the NHS has not been told. . . until now! PETER MORTIMER, Newshound Unlimited, takes you to the front line at a leading hospital.
JUST how deep thE NHS crisis is affecting those who REALLY matter is best illustrated by reports of increasingly desperate scenes along the winding corridors where one eyewitness gave this harrowing account of deprivation:
“I saw at least fifteen separate television reporters who had been waiting more than thirteen hours sitting on trolleys in the hospital corridor, each anxious to begin filming their own hard-hitting exclusive NHS crisis stories. Quite frankly, these people were being asked to suffer the kind of indignities that we should not be tolerating in a so-called civilised country. I witnessed one particularly distressing sight as a well-known television producer hurled away his skinny latte in sheer frustration at being faced with yet another bottleneck.”
Seasoned cameramen who have, on previous assignments, displayed unerring patience – waiting three days, for example, outside the home of Victoria Beckham just to get a possible two-second shot of a rumoured Elastoplast on her ankle – have been reduced to tears at the holdups and the logjams they have been forced to endure at hospitals across the country.
Leading surgeons, too, are concerned. One surgeon, bleary-eyed from eighteen continuous hours of being interviewed by 14 separate TV networks, commented: “We are people who trained long and hard to reach this standard, yet we are asked to conduct media interviews hour after hour with scarcely a spare moment to consult a PR expert.
“This is no way to conduct matters; quite frankly, it can only be a matter of time before there is a medical catastrophe such as one of us getting Jeremy Hunt’s name wrong.
“No sooner do we deal with one camera crew than there are three other crews driving into the ambulance bay which by now is hopelessly overcrowded as queues of vans bearing giant satellite dish vans stacked up. It is a most distressing sight.
“These are people desperate to get their stories back for the prime-time news and quite frankly we are failing them.’
An equally bleak picture was painted by one well-known TV producer and long-time member of BUPA whose daughter Tarquin owns five ponies in the New Forest.
Preferring not to be named for fear of the consequences, the producer said: “This whole system is now a farrago of failures. Unless something is done,and quickly, I can see a whole host of programme-makers missing their news deadlines and we know how disastrous THAT could be. It is bringing the system close to collapse.”
Fights have already been reported breaking out in various hospital waiting rooms and corridors between different TV crews whose patience has been tried to the limit. One Sky TV reporter suffered head injuries but luckily was given emergency treatment by a medic who broke off from giving a round of exclusive TV interviews to offer assistance.
Figures just released show that the strain on the system over the last four weeks has seen the cancellation of a record number of ‘NHS Crisis Exclusive!’ programmes.
The situation is so bad that the plans for the new three-month series Celebrity Fractures has been postponed indefinitely. This hospital series follows ten much-loved showbiz personalities 24 hours a day after they suffer a variety of surgically broken limbs.
Camera-blocking caused by the demand for crews to man hospital corridors had led to the crisis, said an ITV spokesman.
Postponement of the series, due to be filmed in Guys Hospital, London, is expected to lead to angry questions in the House of Commons and calls for the resignations of both the Health Secretary and the chairman of the Media Select Committee.