Despite the Department of Health telling them off a couple of months ago the Leave campaign is again using the NHS logo illegally in order to make it seem like they are strongly ‘in’ with our public health service. In recent photos of their ‘battle buses’ you can clearly see them using the NHS logo as they claim all they want is to rescue our beloved institution and you can see from our emails to the NHS that this is definitely in breach of NHS rules (see end of article) – the important thing here is not the continued misuse of the trusted NHS brand but the ongoing, systematic misleading of the public by the Leave campaign.
£350 million per week
You may also notice in the bus photo that the Leave campaign are still touting that we pay £350 million per day to the EU and that this money could be better spent on our NHS. This notion is one of Vote Leave’s primary ‘issues’ – “We stop sending £350 million every week to Brussels and instead spend it on our priorities, like the NHS and science research.” The thing is that this £350 million is way over the actual money we send to Brussels every week – and they know it. It’s been picked up by the BBC, the UK Statistics Authority, INFacts and pretty much everyone except the handful of dupes that signed Vote Leave’s open letter about it. Yet Vote Leave still peddle this massively inflated figure alongside the NHS logo … why? Purely to mislead the public.
£600 million per week
You may have heard that the top 100 most expensive EU regulations cost our economy around £33 bn per year – this has been touted in the Telegraph, by Leave EU’s founder Richard Tice in CityAM, is found on Vote Leave’s official page of costs of the EU, was stated alongside the misleading £350 million per week figure by Michael Gove on Radio 4 (the transcript is also on Vote Leave’s site) and was reiterated in front of the dodgy battle bus by Boris Johnson who also brought up the EU myth about bendy bananas. Sounds like a damning indictment! What a big number! The figure of £33 billion comes from a report by Open Europe. But what none of these Brexiteers have publicly acnkowledged is that even Open Europe says we’d have to retain most of these regulations, we’d only be likely to save around £12 bn and that the matching estimate for what benefit these regulations bring is £58.6 billion per year! Full disclosure: Open Europe think that number has been over-estimated. Check through those links to Vote Leave, they only quote the big bad figure of £33 billion. Why do this? Just to mislead the public.
Red tape delays cure for cancer
Talking of EU regulations, you may have heard that the EU’s Clinical Trials Directive is a disaster for patients and slows down the hunt for a cure – Michael Gove has stated this, UKIP’s on-call professor Angus Dalgliesh has made a big thing of it and, of course it is proudly displayed on Vote Leave’s website under “Stupid EU rules …badly delayed the testing of cancer drugs”. This does indeed sound abhorrent – EU regulation is delaying the cure for cancer… that’s all you need to know. If you did need to know more then they might tell you that the Directive was updated in 2014 and is now hailed as something that will cut red tape and boost cancer research. In fact, this process has demonstrated how the EU listens to concerns and how the UK has a strong voice for bringing about reforms and improvements. Why would the Leave campaign not mention the new clinical trials directive? Solely to mislead the public.
Immigrants ate my health service
OK, that’s all very academic but we’ve all heard that EU immigrants are overrunning the NHS. Angus Dalgleish has claimed health tourism is destroying our NHS, and Vote Leave again stands proud in claiming “THE EU’S IMMIGRATION SYSTEM PUTS PRESSURE ON THE NHS” while again quoting the deliberately misleading £350 million per week figure. It’s intuitive: more people, more problems. Clearly immigrants would use services, right? Well the thing is that public services are mostly used by the elderly and by children – hopefully that’s also intuitive. EU immigrants tend to be young workers without children and as a result, the data shows that they pay more into the public purse than they take out. This is intuitive too when you think about it… but why wouldn’t Vote Leave mention this? Once again, to mislead the public.
Defenders of the NHS
You may have heard that the Leave campaign is really concerned with protecting our NHS – after all, they keep talking about it. But did you know that prominent Leave campaign politicians wrote a book on the benefits of privatising the NHS?, a top Brexit funder recently stood up and said “If it were up to me, I’d privatize the NHS”, have claimed we should cut public funding and pay to be seen by NHS doctors and have claimed that the NHS was ‘a mistake’ that ‘made people iller’?
The truth is that our HealthierIN campaign has a long list of supporters from across health care, health policy, health research and patient groups – whereas the Leave campaign has failed to muster anything like that support because those that really know our NHS know the EU helps to make it more efficient, helps to add skills, helps to research cures and helps us to deal with big challenges like an ageing population, anti-biotic resistance and public health concerns like air pollution.
If you love the NHS, go check out why NHS workers, health researchers, heads of Royal Colleges and so many other people that actually know about and care about our NHS believe that we are Healthier IN the EU.
Communication with NHS regarding ongoing misuse of NHS logo
Response from NHS Brand and Identity Helpline to Healthier IN
Date: Wed, 11 May 2016
Good Afternoon Tamara
Thank you for your email of 11 May 2016.
The letters ‘NHS’ and the NHS logo are registered UK trade marks. As
such, they can only be used by NHS organisations, or on services and
information where the NHS has involvement.
The organisation you refer to is not authorised to use the NHS
Trademark, or an adaptation of it. Therefore, the Department of Health
is now in contact with the organisation about this matter.
The NHS Identity (letters and logo) generates high levels of trust and
reassurance among patients and the public. Therefore, please be
reassured we take unauthorised use, or adaptation of the NHS trademark,
NHS Brand and Identity Helpline
HealthierIN email to NHS Brand and Identity Helpline
Date: Wed, 11 May 2016
Dear NHS Identity helpline
Please can you advise on the action you are taking with regard to the
use of your logo on the Brexit campaign bus as evidenced by the images
circulating today such as this one:
I note that your guidelines, eg here
mean that use of the logo in this way suggest that the NHS is the “lead
partner” in the Brexit campaign.
I find this difficult to believe.
Professor Tamara Hervey