Tom Blenkinsop demands that local health chiefs “block Andrew Lansley’s bedside TV campaigning on our taxes”

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (November 22nd) demanded that NHS chiefs on Teesside seek a way of blocking new bedside TV advertising from Coalition Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, which is now being piped into hospital patient TV systems.

Andrew Lansley has today launched a so called ‘welcome message’ which is played on a continuous loop in English hospitals and in which he tells patients their care “really matters to me”. His face appears on bedside screens every few minutes, asking people to thank staff looking after them.

Tom said “this is utterly grotesque, and reminds me of George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ where every citizen had to have a compulsory viewing screen in their rooms so that Big Brother could watch them at all times.”

“But this is not only grotesque, but potentially harmful. After all, the last thing anyone recovering from surgery or illness needs is seeing the health secretary’s mugshot on a permanent loop. Hospital TV’s are useful as they can give information about a hospital and its services. If people end up – as I believe they will – turning these sets off to escape Big Brother Lansley, they may well also miss vital information from the hospital itself.”

“I want to know from Hospital Trust chiefs across Teesside if these messages will be appearing on screens at James Cook University Hospital, North Tees Hospital and local community hospital units, and if there are ways in which their senior managers can try to bar Lansley’s propagandising at the taxpayer’s expense.”

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