This week we were delighted to welcome Hugh Pym, BBC Health Editor, for the latest in our series of #LutherNetwork events.

The BBC’s Health Editor role was created in 2014 and Pym was appointed, and he began this morning’s discussion by giving a broad overview of the major health topics he has covered since then. He discussed the BBC’s approach to healthcare stories over the course of this time, ranging from junior doctors’ contract negotiations and A&E pressures to new healthcare technologies and research breakthroughs.

2014 was also the year that the NHS Five Year Forward View was published, and Pym gave his thoughts on progress on the plan ahead of an official update next week from Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England. Pym shared his opinion on how Stevens is likely to navigate this update, given the at times tense relationship between the NHS and Government. The roundtable debated the healthcare sector’s appetite and capacity for change, with guests commenting on the effect of the political cycle on health policy.

Guests at the event came from a range of health related backgrounds, including; regulators, professional bodies, insurers, charities and medical services providers. They questioned Pym on his views on various healthcare topics, including the public debate surrounding the funding of health services, long-term NHS workforce issues, and how healthcare providers and commissioners can be held to account. The coverage of mental health was noted as a particular example of a major shift in the way certain health topics are covered in the media.

Pym also explained how the BBC is attempting to reach out to new, younger audiences with its Health news content. He said that the BBC Lifestyle & Health News Facebook page has been particularly successful in reaching demographics who don’t always engage with the BBC’s more traditional news output.

Our thanks go to Hugh and our guests for joining us.

The next #LutherNetwork event will be with Iain Wright MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.

If you would like to find out more about Luther Network events, including information on how to attend, please email