Scottish ‘no’ campaign NHS ad pulled from cinemas after hospital complains
Vote No Borders ad pulled after Great Ormond Street hospital disputes claim independent Scots will struggle to get care there.
An anti-independence campaign advert shown in Scottish cinemas by the Vote No Borders group has been pulled after a complaint from Great Ormond Street children’s hospital in London. The ad, one of several made by Vote No Borders, claimed that Scots would find it much harder to get NHS care at Great Ormond Street after independence.
UK ministers and anti-independence campaigns have insisted that independence would make it more difficult for Scottish patients to transfer to English NHS hospitals. Great Ormond Street said that in its case, however, that was wrong. Vote No Borders took the offending advert down on Thursday, it said.
The row follows the Guardian’s disclosure that all the UK’s major cinema chains had banned further referendum campaign ads from 5 June, after being inundated with complaints from independence supporters against pro-UK ads from Better Together and Vote No Borders.
A Great Ormond Street spokeswoman said there was very little risk that independence would impede Scottish patients going there. The hospital was used routinely by patients across Europe and across the world because it had very highly specialised expertise, often not available abroad.
“Some of our specialist treatments are only available here, so we’re probably quite different from a lot of standard NHS hospitals, so we do have arrangements with a lot of countries because they don’t have the same level of specialist care that we can offer patients.”
In a statement, the hospital said: “Great Ormond Street hospital was not consulted about this advertising, and we in no way endorse its messages, or that of any other political campaign group.
“We have contacted the Vote No Borders group to request that the advert is removed from cinemas as soon as possible.”
Vote No Borders has been asked to comment.
Dr Willie Wilson, a co-founder of the campaign NHS for Yes, said: “This is a new low for the no campaign, who are now reduced to using sick children to scare people into voting no.
“The no campaign have repeatedly made false claims such as this. It’s now essential that they withdraw all off their misleading literature and apologise to Scottish families whom they’ve needlessly distressed.”
- The Guardian,