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CIPR speaks out in defence of London NHS £13m PR bill

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By Gillian West, Social media manager

March 13, 2013 | 2 min read

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has come to the defence of the NHS as its £13 million PR spend is revealed.

“London faces unique healthcare challenges with a younger, more mobile and more ethnically diverse population living in some of the most deprived areas of the country, facing higher rates of teenage pregnancy, mental health problems and childhood obesity than in other parts of the UK,” commented Jane Wilson, chief executive of the CIPR.

As reported by The Drum this morning, a Freedom of Information request by BBC London found that £9.7 million was spent on the salaries of public relations staff and £3 million on consultancy contracts over the last three years.

Wilson added: “This all presents a massive challenge for the NHS, communicating with more than eight million London residents, as well as to over 100,000 staff, and delivering life-saving public health initiatives such as the Be Clear on Bowel Cancer Campaign, Flu Safe and anti-smoking campaigns. Managing the reputation of the NHS in London is key to maintaining trust in healthcare services such as cancer care and world class paediatric services, as well as lifesaving Accident and Emergency centres which offer 24-hour seven-day-a-week responses to health emergencies.

“NHS public relations professionals work directly with health care professionals to ensure that issues such as wellness and healthy living campaigns are properly communicated. These campaigns aim to save the amount of time and public money spent on public health issues which can prevented at source by information provision and the raising of awareness. In doing so, they make a contribution towards the £20bn of efficiency savings the NHS has been asked to find by 2015, but more importantly, they help keep Londoners healthy and happy.”

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