10/02/2017 Newswatch


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


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


Newswatch. Hello and welcome to Newswatch


with me Samira Ahmed. Vital insight or just


demoralising coverage? The BBC's special NHS reporting


is in the spotlight. Is it ever justified


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


as Newsnight did in a report Reports about the National Health


Service have been especially frequent on television news


bulletins over the last few weeks of winter,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


social care is heading towards half of its budget,


with demand still increasing and that is at the heart


of the problems they are wrestling The BBC was given unrestricted


access to witness the We have had patients


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


for five hours. It isn't what you expect


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


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


emergency cases coming in and difficulty discharging some


patients back into the community some of those needing surgery


are having to wait longer. Our health editor and special


correspondent and social affairs No question about the


comprehensive nature viewers told us by telephone


and webcam that they were concerned


about the effect of that coverage and that the BBC had


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


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


of the NHS. We all know there are many


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


including bed blocking, immigration, lifestyles,


health tourism, waste, bad procurement, trivial A visits


and so on. And yet BBC news would rather have


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


and that throwing more money at the problem


will solve everything. Please, BBC, get your house


in order and start reporting This campaign should be


reserved for a Panorama I understand there are serious


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


measures, however, BBC News seems We have better health


care than most. Please try and help us to feel


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


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


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


the last few months who have I only have praise for


the dedicated, professional staff who have carried out treatment


on their behalf. This week we have been bombarded


by the news on all channels telling us what is wrong


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


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


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


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


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


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


important things are needed to be However, the effect


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


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


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


of it we should hear some Well, the health editor


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


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


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


coverage focusing on the negative things, waiting times


and cancellations, they wonder whether the BBC is hyping


up a sense of crisis? There have been several strong


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


News output. We did some research on waiting


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


to get surgery. That is the target, they should


be seen for a routine We discovered from our data that


nine out of ten hospitals are running at levels that


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


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


will start bawling. On Thursday, very bleak figures


from NHS England on how the performance in December


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


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


on facts and figures In terms of staff morale,


I take on board what people were saying there about staff


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


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


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


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


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


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


of despondency and that was so overwhelming that perhaps it needs


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


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


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


including some patient testimony on the positives they found with the


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


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


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


GP practices. There using technology. We tried to emphasise


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


after older patients in their autumn this book facility away from


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


could name more efficient use of their resources and we have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


not happy with this. One viewer wrote:


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


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


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


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


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


coverage again next week.


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