Linking rise of NHS communications to waiting lists is "disingenuous", says CIPR

An attempt to link the rise of NHS communications teams with NHS waiting lists is "disingenuous" according to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). The Institute was responding to a study by the TaxPayers' Alliance that found £57 million was spent by NHS organisations last year on communications. 

John O'Connell, the chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance linked NHS waiting lists to an investment in its communications function, arguing that "[h]ealth bosses must ensure that staffing budgets are focused on the front line".

Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive

NHS communicators play a vital role in supporting front-line services and have a statutory responsibility to communicate with patients, the public, NHS staff, and the media on preventative and often lifesaving matters. Far from being ‘spin’, this role allows nurses and doctors to focus on their jobs and reduces the burden of healthcare on taxpayers. 

It is disingenuous to suggest waiting lists are in any way linked to an investment in vital communications services across the NHS. At a time when public sector funding is in the spotlight, and two years on from the height of the pandemic, it is crucial our policy decision makers recognise the value that public sector communications can offer. Last week we celebrated our regional PRide Awards and I would suggest they start by taking a look at some of the incredible award-winning entries to see the difference PR can make to local health services.

Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive

See the CIPR PRide Award winners for examples of strategic and effective public relations work, including examples from across the NHS.


About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas with nearly 10,000 members.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).