Medicine And The Media

Hospital closures: for good or for ill?

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 18 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:236
  1. Liam J Donaldson
  1. professor of applied epidemiology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne University of Newcastle upon Tyne

    BBC 1 Panorama, Monday 6 January BBC Radio 4 The Hospital: a Prognosis, Wednesday 8 January

    The short trailer which preceded the BBC Panorama programme on the health service seemed to promise yet another exposé of Britain's NHS: inefficiency and millions of pounds wasted were trumpeted. It was difficult to ignore the inner voice whispering, “Oh no, here it comes again.” Indeed, I found that many health service managers to whom I spoke the next day had reacted the way my generation had in childhood to the introductory theme music toQuatermass. We switched off the set, ran up to bed, and covered our ears with our hands just in case our parents turned it back on again.

    Those like myself who started watching Panorama through a crack between their fingers would have done so with growing disbelief. Could it be that the other side of a story that needs to be told would unfold? The programme …

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