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NUJ statement on Russian journalists entering Salisbury hospital without permission

11 April 2018

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"Journalists need to act responsibly and sensitively when covering stories at hospitals. The NUJ's code of conduct says journalists must not intrude into anybody’s private life or cause grief or distress, unless there is an overriding public interest. I glad to hear that the vast majority of reporters covering the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal from Salisbury hospital have acted responsibly, but the behaviour of the Russian reporters who gained access to the hospital without permission and spoke to staff cannot be condoned. We will be alerting the Russian Union of Journalists, which is an affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists, about the incident."

A spokesperson for Salisbury District Hospital said:

"This footage shows appalling behaviour on the part of these Russian journalists - approaching staff in the middle of the night with no warning and without asking for any permission. Our staff, who have been rightly lauded for their recent efforts, working tirelessly to give all of our patients high quality care, deserved better. We would like to reiterate that any attempt to harass, intimidate or cause distress to any of our staff or patients is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“We understand the worldwide interest in this story and we have been very open and accommodating to members of the press from around the world. Yesterday, for example, we allowed journalists on site for over six hours, yet these individuals made late night attempts to trespass and harass NHS staff.  We are a busy hospital and make no apology for putting the needs of our patients first.”

Tags: , journalist ethics, hospital, code of conduct, reporters, russian union of journalists, salisbury hospital, nhs, ethics, sergei Skripal, ifj