The NHS has warned that diseases such as cancer are still frequently proving fatal, despite improvements in leaflet distribution and even the promotion of a new NHS Anti-Cancer Facebook page.
Health Minister Jeremy Hunt told journalists “We are increasingly concerned by the ability of fatal diseases to bypass our leafleting campaigns. It isn’t just the well-known diseases like cancer – leaflet efficacy is also down in infectious diseases such as Yellow Fever, Typhoid and H5N1 influenza. The NHS leads the world in leafleting, and our use of Facebook as a distribution medium is world class, so the latest figures are particularly disappointing.
“Pharmaceuticals, nursing care and better diagnostic technologies are all ‘part of the mix’, but they are very expensive. The great benefit of leaflets and social media is their extreme cheapness. If we only had higher standards of literacy we’d have much better leaflet compliance, but since the DfE introduced its “Teach Your Own Children To Read” campaign we’ve seen a particularly sharp decline.
“I really don’t know what more we can do. We’ve put our leaflets in every public space, we’ve trained a whole generation of nurses to hand them out at every opportunity – far more cost effective than what they used to do – and yet these diseases are still killing people. It’s baffling.