London NHS spent £13m on PR over past three years
The NHS in London has spent £13m on public relations over the past three years, with critics saying the money should be spent on "medical doctors not spin doctors".
A Freedom of Information request by the BBC found that £9.7m went on press officers' salaries at hospitals and primary care trusts, while another £3m was spent on private PR companies.
It was discovered that there are 82 press officers on the public payroll, with an average salary of £37,278.
The BBC also stated that the Royal Marsden Hospital paid a firm £1,500 to "print news clippings following the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge".
A Department of Health spokesman said: "NHS organisations are responsible for how they spend their funds, including their responsibility to communicate with patients and the public.
"However, we are clear the NHS must focus on improving the quality of care for patients.
"Money should only be spent on external consultancies if this is absolutely necessary and provides good value for money."