I have had the following reply from BBC Complaints regarding my letter about the outrageous handling of mental health story lines in series 31 of ‘Casualty’.
Thank you for contacting us regarding BBC One’s ‘Casualty’.
I understand you feel our portrayal of mental health illness has been negative.
While we appreciate the strength of your concerns, in order to make our complaints process more efficient the timeframe for making complaints about programmes is within 30 working days of the transmission or event on BBC channels or services.
Due to the volume, range and complexity of complaints we receive, it’s important for effective complaints handling that the BBC has a simple, clear and easily accessible complaints procedure to ensure that our limited resources are used wisely. The BBC Complaints process is outlined in full at the following link:
Your feedback is important to us and your concerns have been placed on an overnight report, which is made available to senior management and the ‘Casualty’ production team. This report can be used to inform future broadcasting and policy decisions, so please be assured that your complaint has been sent to the right people.
Thanks again for getting in touch.
I’m glad to hear that my letter will be ‘made available’ to the production team though I am not optimistic that they will read and digest it. In fact they might well choose to bury it in the hope that it is forgotten, because it is so deeply embarrassing for a programme that publicly prides itself on its handling of mental illness stories.
There is also an issue to be addressed here about iPlayer. It is becoming increasingly common for viewers not to watch TV when it is first broadcast but to watch when it suits them. This means that the 30 day time limit for complaints is outdated.
I am considering where to go from here and would welcome suggestions.