You may remember the brouhaha in August when the Daily Mail claimed the NHS spent £116 million on prescription ‘gluten-free junk food’. It screamed ‘Doughnuts and Pizzas on the NHS‘ – if you’re a coeliac and can bear to be reminded of it.
Well, three months on, lo and behold – and more than I expected, I’m happy to admit – they have issued a correction which you can read here, which acknowledges the hugely over-inflated figure was wrong (it was wrong by a factor of almost 100, as I suggested in a previous blog).
There’s even an apology to members of the coeliac community “for any distress they may have been caused”.
There’s no apology to the coeliac community for the short term and long term damage done to their ongoing campaigning to boost awareness of the disease and the importance of accessible gluten-free options for all who most need them.
Three months. Maybe it was just a one-off? Maybe it fell to the bottom of the in-box and was forgotten about?
Or maybe not. The same thing happened four years ago. In July 2011 the DM reported that the NHS were spending over £30 on a gluten-free loaf (story no longer on their site). It wasn’t until October 2011 – yes, three months on – that they admitted it actually cost £2.82. You can still read that here.
On that page the DM describes its then new ‘correction and clarification’ column as a page which “provides an opportunity to correct … errors quickly”.
Comedy gold, Daily Mail.