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Journalist offers patients cash for ‘nightmare’ strike experiences

A journalist claiming to be from the Sun newspaper has offered cash for stories from patients who are negatively affected by the junior doctors’ strike if it goes ahead on Tuesday.

In a request seen by Pulse, Matthew Barbour – who claimed to be contributing editor for the Sun – explains he will offer a ‘good fee’ for patients with tales of ‘a nightmare at A&E’ or who ‘witness’ hospital staff shortages.

’We will be looking for patients who have been affected in some way – probably someone who has had an op cancelled or someone who experiences a nightmare at A&E or witnesses staff shortages at a hospital. Anything along these lines would suffice,’ he wrote.

‘We can pay a good fee and also provide complete copy control so you’re 100% happy with any write up – so your views are accurately represented.’

Junior doctors voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a ballot held earlier this month, with 98% saying they would support a full walk-out.

If the action goes ahead, junior doctors will continue to provide emergency care on 1 December, which will be followed by a full walk-out from 8am to 5pm on Tuesday 8 December, and another at the same time on Wednesday 16 December.

Please note: This story has been updated after the Sun has issued a statement stating that Mr Barbour is a freelance journalist and was not working for the newspaper. On Twitter, the Sun’s head of PR Dylan Sharpe said: ‘The Sun has no position of contributing editor. Matthew Barbour is a freelancer and does not represent the paper nor was he asked for this specific case study request by anyone at The Sun.’