BBC News: Trust’s plan to avoid ‘media traps’ scrapped

Nic Rigby of the BBC reports:

A failing mental health trust has scrapped plans insisting governors do not talk to journalists without consulting it first, in case they say “things they don’t mean”.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust proposals said there was a danger some of them could be “trapped” by leading questions from the media.

But it later withdrew the report after “concerns” were raised by governors.

The report, which had been due to be discussed on Thursday, said: “Governors may be contacted out of the blue by media and need clarity on how to field such approaches to avoid traps.”

“Giving interviews or making statements without communications team support carries significant risks.”

The report said some journalists may “lead interviewees into saying things that they don’t mean or take quotations out of context in order to distort a story”.

A spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said: “We are obviously disappointed that the trust attempted to control the interaction with the media of the unpaid and elected representatives of patients, carers, staff and other stakeholders.

“That said, we are heartened by the vigorous opposition to this ill-judged proposal by a group of new and independently-minded governors.”

Yet another masterful piece of media management by the highly-paid ‘experts’ of the NSFT Communications team. A Turkey Twizzler, indeed.

When our campaign started, NSFT refused to acknowledge the truth of what we were saying about the crisis in mental health services. Instead, NSFT dramatically increased its expenditure on so-called ‘spin doctors’ to pretend their was no crisis.

That worked well, didn’t it? The money should have been spent on mental health services.

Read the full story on the BBC website by clicking on the image below:

BBC News Trusts plan to avoid media traps scrapped

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