SAM in the media – September 2016 to August 2017

Over the past year, SAM has issued 25 statements and press releases to national and specialist media to improve the organisation’s presence in the media and help influence and and lead national debate.

SAM has featured on national broadcasters including BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 and ITV News, radio stations including BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 and LBC and many national newspapers.

President Dr Mark Holland and his team focused on NHS performance data and winter pressures, social care funding and delayed discharges, government contingency plans for winter, staffing and the NHS pay cap.

Dr Holland’s statement on NHS performance data for August 2016 (released in October 2016), in which he described the NHS being “on its knees”, was referred to by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a Prime Minister’s Questions debate.

All statements and press releases have also been publicised via social media channels Twitter and Facebook.

September 2016

System ‘close to breaking point’ – SAM president

Coverage on BBC News Online and The Guardian:

Sky News interview (arranged during previous month) was broadcast:

Issued press release with Dr Holland based on comments made in the Sky News interview:

NHS will see ‘pockets of meltdown’ this winter – Dr Mark Holland

Covered by media including The Guardian, The Times, Daily Mirror, The Herald (front page), Pulse Today, BBC News, the Daily Mail, Heart FM, Talk Radio, The Courier, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5 Live. The story featured on 65 national radio stations in total.

October 2016

SAM president’s response to Jeremy Hunt’s conference speech

SAM president warns NHS is ‘on its knees’

The statement was covered by The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, The Guardian, the Daily Express, BBC News Online, The Sun and The Independent. Dr Holland also recorded a short interview which was broadcast on BBC News and was interviewed on LBC Radio in London.

It was also referred to during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and covered by BBC News (from 2:20 onwards).

November 2016

Statement from previous month, which referred to the NHS being “on its knees”, featured in an article in the i newspaper (i news).

Meet Gary and Georgette: the specialist paramedics running a unique out of hours service that could be a model for rural communities across the country

Issued comment from Dr Holland on latest NHS performance data:

SAM president calls on Parliament to ask ‘robust questions’

This was covered by BBC News health editor Hugh Pym for BBC Radio 4’s PM programme.

Issued comment from Dr Holland on BBC News report into pressures facing ambulance services across the NHS:

Support to discharge patients “central” to releasing pressure on NHS – Dr Mark Holland

This comment was covered widely in the media, featuring in the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, ITV News, the Huffington Post, the Manchester

Evening News and more than 40 local and regional newspapers across the country.

December 2016

Continuing on from last month (30 Nov), comment from Dr Holland on BBC News report into pressures facing ambulance services across the NHS featured in The Times and online:

Worked with Dr Holland on a response to announcement of additional government social care funding and issued to media:

Top doctor says government action over social care ‘too little too late’

Covered by The Guardian and The Sun:

OAPs are left stranded in hospital for up to a year because of delays finding home care

It was then quoted again in a lead story in The Observer:

Following the release of SAM’s statement on social care, Dr Holland was asked to comment on NHS Improvement’s pre-Christmas instructions to trusts to cancel many non-urgent operations.

January 2017

Issued press release calling on government to announce contingency plans for January:

Top doctor calls on government to announce NHS contingency plans ahead of ‘worst January’

This was covered by The Guardian, ITV News, the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the i newspaper, The Sun and The Morning Star.

References to the press release continued and SAM president Dr Mark Holland took part in a BBC Radio 2 interview on the Jeremy Vine show to discuss A&E attendances (Friday 6 Jan).

He then talked to The Guardian about increasing pressures and reports of the deaths of two patients left to wait on trolleys at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Following this, Dr Holland appeared on BBC Breakfast News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and on the news bulletins of BBC Radio 1, Radio Essex, Radio Kent, Radio Suffolk, Radio Cumbria, Radio Leicester, Radio Humberside, Radio Tees and Radio Newcastle.

On Sunday (8 Jan), Dr Holland appeared in The Observer’s front page story where he called on May to convene a special version of Cobra, the committee summoned only in national emergencies. He was later interviewed by ITV Granada.

Following the first comments to be made on the current pressures facing emergency and acute care in hospitals by health secretary Jeremy Hunt, Dr Holland responded with the following statement:

SAM president’s ‘disbelief’ at health secretary’s comments

This featured in a number of national newspapers and as the main story on Sky News bulletins throughout the day on Monday (9 January) and was included in the Daily Mail’s front page article:

Jeremy Hunt says the NHS’ four-hour waiting target to see patients in A&E will in future ONLY apply to ‘urgent problems’

On Monday evening (9 January), Dr Holland appeared briefly on Channel 4 News to discuss the current situation and Mr Hunt’s comments so far.

Issued statement on health scretary’s comments in response to growing winter pressures:

SAM president’s ‘disbelief’ at health secretary’s comments

This featured in a number of national newspapers and as the main story on Sky News bulletins throughout the day on Monday 9 January. It was also included in a Daily Mail front page story.

Issued comment from Dr Mark Holland on a BBC report on leaked NHS Improvement documents:

‘A blizzard in an eternal winter’ – SAM president

Covered by The Sun and the Daily Mail, while Dr Holland also carried out interviews with BBC North West Tonight and BBC Radio Manchester.

Issued SAM statement on RCP letter to the Prime Minister:

RCP letter to PM a ‘significant milestone’

Issued SAM president’s comments on the Prime Minister’s response to pressures facing NHS hospitals:

SAM president warns of ‘becoming immune’ to Prime Minister’s responses

Covered by The Morning Star.

Issued SAM president’s comments on release of NHS black alert data:

‘Government must accept we now face national emergency in NHS’ – SAM president

Dr Holland was interviewed live on BBC Radio 5 Live and his comments were picked up by The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror.

Edited and published Dr Mark Holland’s comments on BMA’s letter to the Prime Minister:

‘Marginalising and attacking GPs wrong’ – SAM president

Covered by the Daily Mail.

February 2017

Issued statement drafted with Dr Holland on NHS performance data for December:

SAM president calls on health secretary to acknowledge “universal truth” about NHS

Issued a comment from Dr Holland on a King’s Fund report on STPs which featured in the i newspaper:

STPs need to convince us of ability to deliver – SAM president

NHS reform plans not credible without added investment, King’s Fund report warns

Issued a statement on an RCP report relating to NHS pressures with Dr Holland:

RCP report could provide “catalyst for change” in the NHS – SAM president

March 2017

Issued a statement with Dr Holland on Chancellor’s Spring Budget.

SAM president responds to chancellor’s Spring Budget

Issued statement and shortened version of SAM’s position on NHS pressures with Dr Holland following release of latest performance data:

Acute medicine: The solution the NHS chooses to ignore

Dr Alistair Douglas commented on “boarding” in Scotland’s hospitals for The Times (which resulted from previous statements issued by SAM highlighting the issue):

April 2017

Issued statement on NHS performance data for February with Dr Holland:

SAM president says ‘fight for better care must go on’

Worked with Guardian health correspondent Denis Campbell to provide SAM response on rota gaps:

Developed press release on the SAM survey with Dr Holland and issued to media:

Doctors in acute medicine paint “worrying” picture of NHS

BBC News requested a comment from SAM on purdah and the NHS. Comment supplied from Dr Holland and featured widely in national media (BBC News, Daily Mirror, i newspaper, The Independent).

Government accused of cover up over ‘delay’ in publishing NHS deficit

This was also covered by BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio Gloucester, BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC Radio Wiltshire, BBC Radio Linolnshire, BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio Stoke, BBC Radio Guernsey, BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester, BBC Radio Tees, BBC Radio Sussex, BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC Radio Northampton.

June 2017

Developed a statement for upcoming story on hospital waiting times for The Guardian:

Following the comment provided on waiting times earlier in the month, Guardian reporter Denis Campbell asked for comment from SAM on nurse staffing levels. SAM president Dr Mark Holland quoted.

July 2017

Issued press release on NHS pay cap:

Top doctor calls on government to ‘stop disincentivising’ NHS staff

Issued a statement on NHS Digital data regarding vacancies across the NHS. Featured widely in national media, including BBC News Channel, Sky News and LBC Radio (interview with Dr Holland):

Recruitment data shows ‘neglect’ from the government – SAM president

Worked with Dr Holland on statement regarding NHS Professionals and submitted to The Guardian:

Threat to NHS Professionals ‘sad and alarming’ – SAM president

August 2017

Issued statement on NHS performance data for June:

Surgery waits another ‘damning indictment’ of NHS crisis, says SAM president

Covered widely in the national media, including The Metro, Sky News, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror, The Guardian and The Sun.

Record high of 4m wait for NHS ops

Number of patients waiting for NHS operations topped FOUR million for the first time in a decade

Share this article: