A misdirected email chain gives us insight into two of End Game’s favourite subjects: the relationship between the Department of Health and NHS England, and the everyday life of public relations professionals.
The scene is a dreary Monday 6 January, millions are miserably returning to work after a holiday – among them are (seemingly) thousands of national press officers dealing with the infinite complexities of trying explain to the nation’s press what on earth their ministers are trying to achieve.
In the first email, a DH PR revealed to five fellow professionals that Downing Street had “pushed out” some lines to lobby journalists “(political bods based in parliament)”, in response to a Daily Mail piece today on care.data.
An NHS England PR replied: “As an aside, did the Dan Poulter announcement go out? Also, if you have a draft of the SWSH press notice that we could take a look at that would be really helpful.”
DH PR: “He is also making an announcement about £10million maternity funding tomorrow. Sorry to be dense – what is SWSH?“
No reason to apologise, DH PR person, we don’t have the foggiest what Safer Wards Safer Hospitals is about either. It’s really hard to keep up with all these interchangeably titled initiatives.
An NHS England PR finally cleared things up: “DH have been approached by the Mail on this… not us… I am not even sure what the maternity announcement is.”
End result: World a better place.