10/02/2017 Newswatch


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10/02/2017

Your views on the coverage of events by BBC News, answered by the editors and decision makers in charge.


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Those are the headlines and this is BBC News. At ten o'clock Fiona Bruce

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will be here with a full round-up of the news. First, it is time for

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Newswatch. Hello and welcome to Newswatch

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with me Samira Ahmed. Vital insight or just

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demoralising coverage? The BBC's special NHS reporting

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is in the spotlight. Is it ever justified

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to show an image of a child who has just been killed,

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as Newsnight did in a report Reports about the National Health

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Service have been especially frequent on television news

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bulletins over the last few weeks of winter,

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but this week more so than ever. The BBC was running a week

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of special programmes and reports, which they branded as Health Check,

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about the state of the NHS, including Monday's Panorama

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and lengthy items on the 6pm and 10pm bulletins on Monday,

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Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Seven years ago this council spent

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about a third of its budget providing care and support to people

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who are older and disabled. But now the cost of adult

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social care is heading towards half of its budget,

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with demand still increasing and that is at the heart

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of the problems they are wrestling The BBC was given unrestricted

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access to witness the We have had patients

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here for 6-9 hours and we cannot We were in the corridor

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for five hours. It isn't what you expect

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from a country like ours. Hospitals like this one are running

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at 95% capacity which means they are nearly full so with more

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emergency cases coming in and difficulty discharging some

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patients back into the community some of those needing surgery

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are having to wait longer. Our health editor and special

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correspondent and social affairs No question about the

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comprehensive nature viewers told us by telephone

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and webcam that they were concerned

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about the effect of that coverage and that the BBC had

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an axe to grind. Every night this week we have seen

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the BBC 6pm and 10pm news leading with the story on the current state

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of the NHS. We all know there are many

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problems in the NHS, and there are many reasons for this

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including bed blocking, immigration, lifestyles,

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health tourism, waste, bad procurement, trivial A visits

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and so on. And yet BBC news would rather have

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us believe the problems are all due to so-called Tory cuts

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and that throwing more money at the problem

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will solve everything. Please, BBC, get your house

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in order and start reporting This campaign should be

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reserved for a Panorama I understand there are serious

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problems in the NHS and I understand that things have got worse by some

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measures, however, BBC News seems We have better health

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care than most. Please try and help us to feel

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grateful for what we have and try to help us make things

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better rather than constantly I am not newsworthy because I am one

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of the thousands of people who have received treatment from the NHS over

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the last few months who have I only have praise for

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the dedicated, professional staff who have carried out treatment

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on their behalf. This week we have been bombarded

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by the news on all channels telling us what is wrong

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with our National Health Service. What you have as the BBC

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is responsibility in terms of making sure we do not demoralise the staff

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any more than they already are. I asked a nurse if she was impacted

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by the adverse publicity seen She looked at me as if it

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was a silly question. The BBC has spent the last week

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with intensive wall-to-wall coverage of bad news about the NHS and some

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important things are needed to be However, the effect

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of that is to produce a downwards Come on BBC, it is not that we don't

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need to know about these bad things and they do need addressing,

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but I think that the benefit of the NHS and our appreciation

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of it we should hear some Well, the health editor

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for BBC News has been on the news for much of this

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week and is here now. Viewers, as you can see

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from looking at those clips, have felt there's been so much

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coverage focusing on the negative things, waiting times

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and cancellations, they wonder whether the BBC is hyping

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up a sense of crisis? There have been several strong

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newsline is which we would want to cover as part of our BBC

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News output. We did some research on waiting

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times, patients who were waiting longer than 18 weeks in England

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to get surgery. That is the target, they should

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be seen for a routine We discovered from our data that

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nine out of ten hospitals are running at levels that

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are deemed to be above what is Institute for Fiscal Studies has

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said that health spending in England has gone up but per person it

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will start bawling. On Thursday, very bleak figures

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from NHS England on how the performance in December

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was the worst since records began and looked like it was going to get

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worse in January after documents I think it is our job to report

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on facts and figures In terms of staff morale,

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I take on board what people were saying there about staff

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feeling downtrodden because of this. Equally we have had contact,

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e-mails and calls, from staff who said it is really good

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that the BBC is focusing on what is really going on,

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from senior consultants to junior This is what the BBC should be

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doing and it has not done It is finding that balance. One

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viewer said that they felt the coverage felt like a downward spiral

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of despondency and that was so overwhelming that perhaps it needs

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to be balanced with some coverage that shows the more positive side.

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There has been quite a lot of positive side. There was a big

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debate on health involving patients and staff and other health experts,

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including some patient testimony on the positives they found with the

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NHS. We have had coverage throughout the week on different aspects of how

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GPs are coming to terms with the different challenges. The news

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challenge has reports on innovative schemes to link up care homes with

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GP practices. There using technology. We tried to emphasise

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the positives. We had a Yeovil Hospital scheme that aims to look

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after older patients in their autumn this book facility away from

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accident and emergency. We tried hard to talk about the positives

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possible solutions, but equally we have two state the facts which are

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straightforward. It is a difficult balance and we are holding an

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important institution to account, and it should be about providing the

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best possible patient care and the government should make sure it is

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funded adequately and it is making efficient use of taxpayers' money.

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Some complaints have been but it is felt the BBC is politically

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campaigning and saying it is about more funding for the NHS. There is

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the opinion that the NHS should have more funding, but health spending in

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the UK as a whole as a share of national income is below France and

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Germany, it is falling, the ISS during the week have made clear that

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spending will fall in a way it has never done before in terms of

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spending per head of population. We have taken those arguments and put

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them forward. We have been accused in the past of not addressing lack

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of funding. We are not being political, we're stating facts.

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Equally, we have been very clear that there are some who feel the NHS

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could name more efficient use of their resources and we have

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reflected that argument, it is not just about money it is about better

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ways of joining up care, better ways of spending money. It is an

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important debate and think it is only right to address the issue of

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funding. Thank you. When is it justified to broadcast close-up

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images of someone who has recently died? The question was raised after

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the Newsnight report on Wednesday from a village in Yemen where US

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special forces attacked and Al-Qaeda compound. Several civilians were

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killed, including a boy who was showing. This viewer said that :

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we put that point to BBC News and they told us:

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Finally, we have almost managed to get through an additional Newswatch

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without mentioning Donald Trump, but not quite. A programme has been

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running about his first hundred days in office. Even some of his fans are

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not happy with this. One viewer wrote:

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Thank you for all your comments this week. If you want to share your

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opinions on BBC News or appeared on the programme you can call us or

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e-mail us using the details on screen. You can find this on Twitter

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and do look at our website for previous discussions. That is all

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from us, we will be back to hear your thoughts about BBC News

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coverage again next week.

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Your views on the coverage of events by BBC News, answered by the editors and decision makers in charge. Each week we look at how the BBC is covering major stories and put your criticisms to the powers behind the presenters.