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Rowcroft lobbies against negative portrayal of hospices by BBC

12 June 2015

Rowcroft Hospice in South Devon has joined forces with hospices across the UK to campaign against the BBC’s recent portrayal of hospices as ‘dingy.’

Hospices as far flung as Perth in Australia are tweeting in response to episodes of the BBC’s Casualty and EastEnders, which referred to characters as being ‘stuck in some dingy hospice’ or transferred to a ‘grotty hospice.’

The Twitter protest against the BBC’s portrayal began on Wednesday, when Jonathan Ellis, Director of Policy and Advocacy at national hospice organisation Hospice UK, posted a blog on the Huffington Post about what he termed the ‘shocking’ portrayal by the BBC.

Rowcroft is now joining the protest by posting pictures of its services, staff and grounds on social media using the hashtags ‘notdingy’ and ‘our beautiful hospice.’

Rowcroft Hospice’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Rachel Cayzer-Bell said: “Anyone who has been to the hospice, or been touched by our services, knows it is not remotely a dingy place and we are disappointed by the BBC’s less than positive representation of the work we, and other hospices across the UK and the world, do every day.

“We hope that by posting images of our beautiful grounds and cheerful staff we will be able to show the local – and national community – just want an inspiring, positive atmosphere there is at the hospice.”

Hospice UK said it was fantastic that so many hospices were posting photos and tweeting in response to the blog post.

Protest tweets have also come from health care professionals, hospice patients and journalists in response to the campaign.

Jonathan Ellis, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Hospice UK, added:

“We are disappointed with the negative references to hospices in both EastEnders and Casualty in recent months as ‘grotty’ or ‘dingy’ and also the way in which hospice care was depicted in several episodes in EastEnders. We have raised this with the BBC directly as it is worlds away from the reality of modern hospice care.

“We decided to challenge this on social media and encourage hospices to post photos of what hospices are actually like. What we want to get across, in a light hearted way, is that even if you live in Walford or Holby, your local hospice is likely to be an amazing place with high quality facilities and dedicated staff and volunteers.

“We’ve been delighted by the response from local hospices. Quite rightly, many of them feel strongly about this and are very proud of the services they offer and the tremendous difference they make in their local community.”

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