Jeremy Hunt wins a ‘humanitarian award’ for patient safety. No, we’re not kidding.

Jeremy Hunt looking smug
Support us and go ad-free

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has won an award for patient safety. And we’re not joking.

‘Global leadership….’

At the 6th Annual World Conference on Patient Safety on 24 February, Hunt received the ‘Humanitarian Award’ for his ‘global leadership’ on patient safety. During his acceptance speech, Hunt said:

I think this is really a team effort. I’ve been inspired by amazing doctors… people who have stood up in their own profession and said things have to be different.


The Health Secretary himself “supported” the organisation of the event, which has led some to claim that Hunt basically handed himself the award.

Indeed, self-congratulation is likely the only way Hunt could win an award for patient safety. In 2015 alone, there were 30,000 excess deaths as a result of Conservative austerity, according to an Oxford University report. And it seems to have got worse, not better. In January 2018, specialists in emergency medicine from 68 hospitals warned that patients are unnecessarily dying in corridors because the NHS is so underfunded and short-staffed. Yet the flagship goal of the Patient Safety Movement (PSM), the organisation behind the summit, is zero preventable deaths by 2020.

An award for private profit?

Another way Hunt could win such an award would be if ‘patient safety’ actually meant ‘private profit’.

Joe Kiani founded PSM. He is also CEO of US healthcare technology company Masimo, which already enjoys contracts within the NHS for the supply of equipment. PSM is partnered with a wide variety of private healthcare companies. Many are from the US.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Meanwhile, the Conservative government continues to privatise NHS services in the UK. In 2016/7, the Conservatives handed 70% of the NHS contracts up for tender in England to the private sector.

Hunt also attended the summit last year, accompanied by the Conservatives’ Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Trade Antonia Romeo. At the time, Romeo commented that “Innovation in operating model = crucial”.


On social media, people reacted with disbelief to Hunt winning the award:

The Health Secretary appears to be on a mission to privatise the NHS. The privatisation has long been dressed up as patient-centred progress. Handing Hunt such a prize is an insult to all those who have suffered under his party’s dangerous cuts.

But this isn’t the only time Hunt has won an award. Channel 4‘s The Last Leg awarded Hunt a prestigious prize in 2016:

Get Involved!

Read more from The Canary on NHS privatisation.

Support The Canary, so we can keep bringing you the news that matters.

Featured image via Channel 4 News

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed