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2012 the year in review: The Malcolm Tucker award for Spin Doctor of the Year


BMA Scotland is recognised for its contribution to the dark arts of public relations this year, for its press release announcing that Scottish hospital consultants had voted against further industrial action over pensions, but adding a little plaintively that ‘doctors remain angry’. So much for Scotland the Brave.


Given the amount of time Pulse journalists spend on the phone wrangling with recalcitrant press officers, it’s not surprising that there are two runners-up in this category.

The NHS Commissioning Board is nominated for its astonishing claim that it did not understand Pulse’s ‘fixation’ with whether GP signatures on constitutions were needed for the agreement to be binding. But there’s an honourable mention too for the Department of Health, which revealed it was investigating how Summary Care Records had been created without patients being given the opportunity to opt out – but refused to say how many records had been created, whether patients had been told, whether or not the records had been accessed by members of the practice before they were withdrawn or if the records had been deleted. The ultimate ‘no comment’, then.