NHS trust spends £50,000 on promotional video

From BBC News:

A debt-ridden NHS Trust has been criticised for spending nearly £50,000 on a promotional video.

Heatherwood and Wexham Park Trust, in Berkshire, commissioned the six-minute short to inspire visitors and staff.

But Patient Concern called it “fluff” and “a waste of money” in light of the Trust’s £6.9m debt, saying “you could learn more from watching Casualty”.

Trust chief executive Philippa Slinger said she was “unapologetic” as the video would “stand the test of time”.

A Freedom of Information Act request revealed the film cost £48,943 to make. It has been viewed 8,600 times since it was added to YouTube in November.

Titled Every Minute of Every Day, the video shows time-lapse shots of Wexham Park Hospital, in Slough, and staff caring for patients.

Roger Goss, Patient Concern co-director, said: “Has somebody lost their mind over this?

“Why do we need to be told that they’re watching out for us every minute of every day? That’s what they’re there for.”

The video recently won a Best Short award from the Royal Television Society, but video maker Duncan Bruce, from the National Film and Television School, said: “I can assure you they overspent by around £35,000 to £40,000.”

Ms Slinger, who is standing down as chief executive, said £50,000 was “the sort of money it costs to make these videos”.

She added she was “sure” some of the 220 nurses the trust recruited this year would have been “influenced” by the film.

Wexham Park Hospital has been criticised by the Care Quality Commission, which in January demanded “urgent improvements” to patient care and nursing quality.

Ms Slinger said: “We’ve been much troubled and have a certain reputation within the NHS that may mean people think ‘oh my God I don’t want to look there’.

“But when people look at the video I hope they see a hospital trying to do its best.”

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