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Advertising standards investigate promotion of NHS reforms

By Laura Passi

Advertising standards authorities have launched an investigation into the Department of Health's promotion of the NHS reforms during their 'listening exercise', after they received a number of complaints about a patient leaflet on the health bill.

The pamphlet 'Working together for a stronger NHS' was published earlier this month to explain the rationale behind the Government's NHS reforms, but after a number of complaints - including from one from John McTernan, former political secretary to Tony Blair - the Advertising Standards Authority have launched an investigation.

The leaflet suggests that the NHS perform better if it has more competition between providers of healthcare, including private companies.

The Department of Health says the leaflet is based on 'a wide range of reputable sources', but Mr McTernan claims that the information presented in the leaflet is misleading.

Writing in the Telegraph, he says: 'This manages the feat of breaching the Civil Service Code of Conduct and the Advertising Standards Authority code, too.'

'It's a shocker. It starts, as it means to go on, like a party political pamphlet.'