Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Further Media Experiences

Until next Wednesday morning, you can listen to the dulcit tones of Karl Cooper, BBC Radio Nottingham's Breakfast Show Presenter, interviewing me on the BBC's radio player.

Select 'Listen Again' under the BBC Radio Nottingham header on .

I've decided not to listen again myself for fear of dissecting myself out of existence. I'm sure the media-savvy amongst you will tell me where I went wrong - I think it comes down to the fact that I'm too bloody nice and somehow believe that if you explain everything, people will come round to your way of thinking. I answered the questions rather than making the points that needed to be made.

Rushcliffe PCT's statement contained the following:

Rushcliffe Primary Care Trust said it does not pay for bilateral implants as
the evidence for them is not strong.
In a statement, a spokesman added: "It
is essential that as many children as possible benefit from a unilateral implant
rather than fewer children receiving bilateral implants."

So here, belatedly, are the points I should've made instead of answering the questions I was asked:

  • The PCT thinks there's too little evidence. This is an untenable position - all the papers being published and presented point to the astonishing success of bilateral implantation. If a hard-nosed US insurer such as Anthem/BCBS can be persuaded - this is their new policy on cochlear implants - then why are Rushcliffe PCT taking this stance?
  • Unilateral implants are given to all patients who meet the criteria - that's the policy. Giving a child bilateral implants due to exceptional circumstances does not alter those criteria and, therefore, does not deny a child an implant. To present it in such a way is designed to make us look greedy.
I'm too well brought up. That must be it.

There then followed the piece in the Nottingham Evening Post. To save you the trouble of following the link for so short an article, I'll save you the trouble and republish it in its entirety.

12:00 - 16 August 2006
The parents of a two-year-old boy are trying to raise £20,000 so he can have a vital hearing implant.

Jason and Nicky Broekhuizen, of Ruddington, say they need to raise the
cash quickly to prevent their son Thomas from going deaf.

His hearing went after he suffered meningitis four months ago.He had an implant in his right ear but his dad Jason says he needs a second implant in the other one.


For the record, we are not appealing for money; no such suggestion was made to the reporter. What was mentioned was all the key issues that I've become distinctly boring about on this blog.
And how can a sub-editor let through one inaccurate statement - '...need to raise the cash quickly to prevent their son going deaf' that is followed closely on the heels by the stunningly contradictory 'His hearing went after he suffered meningitis...'?

The machinations of the media remain a foreign world to me. The pieces on TV and Radio were intelligent and sympathetic; clearly the Evening Post didn't see this selling papers. Is it as simple as the fact that they were last to the table and so need to find a new hook?

In Other News...

Tom is still beautiful.

He now regards the illustrious audiological double act that is Kim and Mark as an entertaining diversion, what with their endless supply of cars and dancing cows. The mapping on his implant processor has been tinkered with after a month of activity to give Tom access to a greater range of decibels; as they cranked up the level he barely flickered an eyelid, soaking up the higher volumes with apparent ease.

To paraphrase the great Noddy Holder - 'Cum on Feel the Noize'


Brian Archbold, The Ear Foundation said...

I've seen the TV, heard the radio, read the newspaper - what next?!!

It's not easy dealing with the media - and you sounded so calm! Well done!


Jason said...

Oh you flatterer Brian - my dull monotone was perfected during years of schoolteaching where I tried to lull my charges to sleep using the hypnotic power of tedium