Did Government use royal wedding to bury bad news?

There was a flurry of excitement on Twitter this morning when Dr Ben Goldacre, author of The Guardian’s  Bad Science column, declared: ‘The prize for burying bad news goes to the department of health, 11:37 today.’

The doc was referring to a BBCNews tweet stating that the regulator of NHS foundation trusts had ‘warned hospitals they must make even bigger efficiency savings than previously thought’.

Well aware of the hell that broke loose after Jo Moore tried to bury bad news on 9/11, Labour’s comms machine roared in to action. Shadow Health Secretary John Healey provided PoliticsHome with the killer quote:

‘With all eyes on the Royal Wedding, the Government is trying to bury bad news on the NHS.’

But unfortunately for Labour it looks like the story was reported yesterday by Ben Clover of Health Service Journal,  and also picked up for the FT by ex-HSJ hack Sally Gainsbury. Both had got wind of a letter sent out to foundation trusts by health regulator Monitor.

It seems that the BBC finally got on the story this morning after it went out on the wires thanks to Press Association.

So the Government didn’t quite release the news as Wills and Kate tied the knot. But an ‘independent’ regulator came pretty close…

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