Nav: Home

Why was the NHS logo not protected during referendum campaigns, asks GP?

October 12, 2016

The Vote Leave campaign in the UK referendum on membership of the European Union was repeatedly warned by the Department of Health for England not to use the NHS logo ahead of the vote, an article published in The BMJ reveals.

Emails obtained by Dr Paul Thornton, a GP from Nuneaton in Warwickshire, under freedom of information legislation, show that in February 2016 the department's NHS brand and identity team issued warnings to the campaign about using the logo.

Dr Thornton believes it is in the public interest to know why the NHS logo was not protected through the referendum campaigns.

The NHS logo was a prominent part of the Vote Leave campaign. It was displayed on leaflets delivered to homes and on the "Brexit battle bus" that toured the United Kingdom from May 2016, ahead of the referendum on 23 June.

The advertisement on the side of the bus said, "We send the EU £350m a week. Let's fund our NHS instead."

The team's letter to Vote Leave explained that it was "against our guidelines" to use the NHS in this way and that it risked "misleading and confusing the public."

The Vote Leave campaign was asked to amend or remove leaflets containing the NHS logo and to stop their distribution within seven days. This did not occur.

The NHS logo and letters are registered trademarks owned by the secretary of state for health. The NHS said that the current logo, which was introduced in 1999, was recognised by 95% of members of the public and associated with high levels of trust, credibility, and authority.

Dr Thornton said that he had submitted the request because "it was clear that the £350m was not going to go to the health service and that was a deception." He added, "I knew that the NHS logo was copyrighted. The question was whether the Department of Health had done anything about that."

Thornton said that he intended to appeal to the information commissioner for further information that was withheld, as he believed it to be in the public interest to know why the NHS logo was not protected through the referendum campaigns.

The Department of Health declined to comment. The BMJ contacted the Vote Leave campaign and the MPs Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Gisela Stuart, prominent members of the Vote Leave campaign, for comment but had not received responses by the time of publication.
-end-
News: Health department warned Vote Leave campaign not to use NHS logo http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i5482

About BMJ

BMJ is a healthcare knowledge provider that aims to advance healthcare worldwide by sharing knowledge and expertise to improve experiences, outcomes and value. For a full list of BMJ products and services, please visit bmj.com

BMJ

Related Health Articles:

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.
Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.
Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.
Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.
Geographic and health system correlates of interprofessional oral health practice
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health (Volume 6, Number 2, 2018, pp.
Bloomberg era's emphasis on 'health in all policies' improved New Yorkers' heart health
From 2002 to 2013, New York City implemented a series of policies prioritizing the public's health in areas beyond traditional healthcare policies and illustrated the potential to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
Youth consider mobile health units a safe place for sexual health services
Mobile health units bring important medical services to communities across the country.
Toddler formulas and milks -- not recommended by health experts -- mislead with health claims
Misleading labeling on formulas and milks marketed as 'toddler drinks' may confuse parents about their healthfulness or necessity, finds a new study by researchers at the NYU College of Global Public Health and the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut.
Women's health has worsened while men's health has improved, trends since 1990 show
Swedish researchers have studied health trends among women and men aged 25-34 from 1990-2014.
Health insurance changes, access to care by patients' mental health status
A research letter published by JAMA Psychiatry examined access to care before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and after the ACA for patients grouped by mental health status using a scale to assess mental illness in epidemiologic studies.
More Health News and Health Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Meditations on Loneliness
Original broadcast date: April 24, 2020. We're a social species now living in isolation. But loneliness was a problem well before this era of social distancing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we can live and make peace with loneliness. Guests on the show include author and illustrator Jonny Sun, psychologist Susan Pinker, architect Grace Kim, and writer Suleika Jaouad.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#565 The Great Wide Indoors
We're all spending a bit more time indoors this summer than we probably figured. But did you ever stop to think about why the places we live and work as designed the way they are? And how they could be designed better? We're talking with Emily Anthes about her new book "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of how Buildings Shape our Behavior, Health and Happiness".
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Third. A TED Talk.
Jad gives a TED talk about his life as a journalist and how Radiolab has evolved over the years. Here's how TED described it:How do you end a story? Host of Radiolab Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.Jad Nicholas Abumrad is a Lebanese-American radio host, composer and producer. He is the founder of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab, which is broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide and is downloaded more than 120 million times a year as a podcast. He also created More Perfect, a podcast that tells the stories behind the Supreme Court's most famous decisions. And most recently, Dolly Parton's America, a nine-episode podcast exploring the life and times of the iconic country music star. Abumrad has received three Peabody Awards and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011.