Press Summary: 21 August

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17 August


NHS cuts stripping basic medicines from the poor

Polly Toynbee’s piece on increasing number of drugs being taken ‘off list’ so people have to pay for them themselves. Guardian

[25+ more stories]

Elderly patients forced to wear nappies because NHS staff ‘too busy’

The inevitable outcome of prolonged cuts, staff shortages and cherry-picking privatization: neglect of our most vulnerable despite staff efforts, not because of them. But guess who will get the blame? Not difficult to work out, if you compare the same story also reported in the Mail and the Telegraph. Mirror


19 August


Stephen Hawking attacks government moves towards US-style health system


Very widely reported, as was Hunt’s accusing Prof Hawking of dealing in a ‘pernicious falsehood’: the Secretary of State called a Nobel laureate an underhand liar. In a tweet. Not Trump. Hunt. Astonishing. Even for the arrogance we have come to associate with Jeremy Hunt. Hawking’s speech was the keynote address concluding a one-day conference organised at the Royal Society of Medicine by Discourse, the group formed specifically to achieve this event. Ben Hunt has provided the following links for coverage on the day, reproduced here with thanks:


Guardian (exclusive)


Guardian Hawking opinion piece


Radio4 Today show  (top headlines) Episode Link


BBC Online “Hawking worried about the future of the NHS”


Independent “Hawking attacks the Tories for moving towards privatising NHS”


Independent “Hunt says Hawking is wrong”


Independent “Hunt launches fresh attack on Hawking”


Guardian “Hunt accuses Hawking of ‘pernicious falsehood’ ”


Sky “Hunt in fresh attack on Hawking”


Sky “Don’t Insult a National Treasure”


Huffington Post “Hunt spars with Hawking”


Evening Standard “Hunt to Hawking: you’re wrong”


Evening Standard “Hunt attacks Hawking pernicious falsehood”


Telegraph “Hunt mocked for trying to school Hawking”


Times “Hawking NHS crisis due to ‘abuse’ of evidence”


City AM “Hunt hits back at Hawking”


BBC “I wouldn’t be here without the NHS”


Newsthump (news satire)


Daily Mash (news satire)


Belfast Telegraph “Hunt says Hawking is wrong”


The Sun “Hunt attacks Hawking”


MailOnline “Hawking says NHS in crisis”


Metro “Hunt accuses Hawking of wrecking his beloved NHS”


Express “Wrong! Hunt takes on Hawking”


Channel 4 News “Hawking attacks conservatives over NHS fears”


ITV “Hunt denies Hawking claims”


PoliticsHome  “Hunt accuses Hawk



Telegraph – Hunt opinion piece





LBC/Owen Jones


LBC/Beverley Turner


Washington Post


Chicago Tribune, Ledger Enquirer, The Herald (AP story), Charlotte Observer, Settle Times & many other US state papers


Gulf Times


IB Times


The Canary


News Hub NZ


Evolve Politics


Varsity “Hawking says Tories to blame for NHS crisis”


The Poke


Cambridge News “Hawking says Conservatives are to blame for NHS crisis”


… and “40+ radio stations”


‘Well done’ seems insufficient. One of the group’s aims was to attract a lot of publicity for a single national event by getting a ‘celebrity’ to speak out. Well, clearly job done! The group is planning to build on this success with an even larger ‘pull’ to get public attention.


NHS ‘Never’ events on the rise

Telegraph – which does include the point that the rise could be down to increased awareness in staff triggering greater reporting.


Managers on more than £400 K a year at failing NHS trusts

The management-consultant gravy train continues to pull away – with our tax money, as NHS staff are saddled with yet another year of below-inflation pay increases and nurses lose their bursaries. If you wanted a specific number to label health inequality with, this is yet another. The disgusting face of marketization. Telegraph.


21 August


Private hospitals cashing in on tax breaks as NHS trusts struggle with tax hike

Calls for NHS trusts to be given the same definition as charitable organisations to stop this iniquitous interpretation of business rates. Mirror


The conspiracy to destroy the NHS is no ‘fake news’

Youssef El-Gingihy’s opinion piece in Pulse



These summaries provide a guide to the main stories in the preceding week, but you can get alerts sent about health stories to yourself every day. This is done through Google news and Google alerts: free services anyone can set up. To find out how to do this, go to the Steering Group, News & Events section on the KONP website ( ) and look for the “starter set of instructions”.


Mobile devices also have free apps that provide news, which you can filter with varying degrees of control.

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