Why would the Royal Free want to cap hospital photo ops for politicians?


BOARD papers at the Royal Free Hospital reveal that the parliamentary hopefuls in Hampstead and Kilburn will have photo ops curbed as next year’s General Election approaches, Tom Foot reports in today’s New Journal. The Hampstead hospital reports of the ‘significant impact’ on workload caused by politician visits.

If it was somehow possible to add a film clip to the board report, there’s an obvious one that springs to mind. That’d be the day Andrew Lansley, the then Health Secretary, dodged his way around the Royal Free’s innards. A private photo op with a patient had been set up upstairs but as he prepared his best smile for the flashbulbs, he was kept away from local reporterswhat an earth was he frightened of talking about? – and hecklers at the front door. Cue a bizarre chase in the corridors, captured on film and later re-dubbed by opponents of government NHS reforms for viral purposes.

It’s still available in a) Darth Vadar death march mode, or with b) a Benny Hill runaround reboot. You can see why the Royal Free might want to avoid more of the same.


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