BBC Misreported on NHS PPE needs because 'misunderstanding' of who anonymous source was - iMediaEthics

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The BBC reported that a National Health Service (NHS) trust boss was worried about staff not having enough gowns to stay safe during coronavirus. But, the person the BBC cited isn’t actually an NHS trust boss. He was, in fact, someone trying to find personal protective equipment for NHS trusts.

The BBC published a correction for its reporting, admitting its “misunderstanding of the person’s role.”

According to the Scottish National, “BBC’s business reporter Simon Browning had originally reported that the man, who wished to remain anonymous, had made a phone call to the broadcaster requesting the factory’s number as his staff were running out of gowns for the weekend ahead.” Browning’s anonymous source said the hospitals had PPE shortages and PPEs were being decontaminated to be used again.

According to the Express, the BBC only published a correction online and not broadcast.

The BBC told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “This clearly did not meet the BBC’s editorial standards. We have corrected our error online and on the broadcast outlets where we reported it.”

The BBC correction reads:

“Earlier on Friday we reported that a boss of an NHS trust had contacted the BBC with concerns about the provision of gowns for staff during the coronavirus crisis.

“He had asked the BBC for the phone numbers of Burberry and Barbour – two companies which have become involved in making gowns – because he was concerned about supply shortages.

“We should clarify that the person concerned is not the boss of an NHS trust but is part of a network of organisations helping to source personal protective equipment for some NHS trusts.

“The mistake was caused by a misunderstanding of the person’s role in the fight against the pandemic.”

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BBC Misreported on NHS PPE needs because ‘misunderstanding’ of who anonymous source was

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