BBC refuses to address ‘Broken Ankle Man’ complaint for a third time

The BBC has refused to address a complaint dubbed ‘Broken Ankle Man’ for a third successive time, claiming it “does not comply with the BBC Framework and Procedures”.

The corporation has also threatened to end all correspondence relating to the complaint if it is submitted in a similar manner again.

The complaint relates to a major news story that appeared across BBC Scotland platforms on January 9th this year.  Coverage centred on a man who had apparently broken his ankle and had endured an extensive delay before receiving the required treatment at his local A&E department.  The story dominated BBC Scotland radio, online and TV coverage.

However doubts began to be expressed as to the veracity of the claims being made and whether any alleged delay was in fact a result of his own refusal to remain in A&E.  A complaint was submitted to the BBC two days later.

The BBC refused to accept the complaint, insisting it required to be submitted either via its online complaints form or in writing.  The complainant submitted it a second time, this time in the form of an email.  However that too was deemed not to be admissable.

The third attempt saw the complaint submitted via the BBC online complaint form.  An automatic acknowledgement confirmed receipt.  Eight days later on February 10th the complainant was informed the complaint had been referred to the relevant people.

However five days later the BBC sent the following message: “As was explained in a message sent to you on Friday 2nd February, the way in which you have been submitting this complaint does not comply with the BBC Framework and Procedures. You have resubmitted your complaint again without taking account of what was said to you in that message.

“Unless you resubmit your points in compliance with any one of the ways made available to licence fee payers to complain or comment, the BBC will regard this correspondence as closed.”

In a statement to Indyref2, the complainant said: “The BBC appear not to want to address this complaint.  It has been submitted three times and each time they have contrived to find a way not to address it.

“This third time is the most bizarre.  Despite submitting the complaint via their own online form, they insist I have not complied with procedure.  There was no message on February 2nd informing me the complaint did not comply with their procedures.

“I have though stripped out links to youtube clips of their own broadcasts in case that was the issue.”

The BBC has confirmed receipt of the third attempt.  If acceptable, a response should be issued by the editor of Reporting Scotland within ten working days.

Below is the third complaint in full:

This complaint is the *third* attempt to have this issue addressed.


On January 9th Reporting Scotland broadcast items featuring someone called Allan Browne. The impression given by the items was that Allan Browne had been told by qualified hospital staff that his ankle had not been broken and that he would probably not be seen for 8 hours.

This information had apparently persuaded Browne that he did not need urgent treatment. Only after hobbling in pain for a week did he realise that his ankle may in fact be worse than he was told. The impression was misleading. Not broadcast on Reporting Scotland was the *real* reason Browne was not treated when first attending A&E.

Good Morning Scotland [GMS] earlier that day broadcast the *full* interview. We heard Browne claim to have spoken to a hospital receptionist who he alleges told him he may have to wait up to eight hours to be seen. He also claimed this same receptionist told him his ankle most probably wasn’t broken. This, we were invited to believe, was why he decided not to seek treatment. We also learned that Browne waited two whole days after his slip before even going to A&E.

In both TV items, viewers were told Browne first attended A&E on Boxing Day. However in the uncut GMS radio broadcast Browne can be heard very clearly saying he slipped two days earlier on Christmas Eve. The decision by Reporting Scotland to edit the interview meant viewers were denied the opportunity to judge whether Browne or his local hospital were responsible for the delay to his treatment.

It is of course normal practice to truncate interviews due to time constraints, but not when by truncating them you present a wholly distorted version of the truth. Indeed, when all of the facts of this story emerge, it can be seen that Allan Browne received timely treatment when he attended A&E and stayed. He was even seen within the target 4 hours.

Indyref2 would like to do more news pieces. Feel free to make a contribution towards this goal.

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10 thoughts on “BBC refuses to address ‘Broken Ankle Man’ complaint for a third time

  1. Ken Jackson

    A clear case of Broken Ankle Man complaint receiving Broken Record Treatment from Broken Broadcasting Company.

    I guess that all we can do is continue to spread this far and wide. Oh – and encourage people to stop paying the BBC Tax that helps them produce rubbish like this?

  2. Cubby

    The BBC are a disgrace. Nothing more than an anti democratic propaganda channel run by the British Nationalists. We live in a country where British Nationalist political parties are running the TV stations. The BBC will not say how many complaints they receive never mind how many they uphold( probably ZERO). Yet we are forced to pay a license fee to receive propaganda. Even the Nazi and Soviet parties did not charge for their propaganda. How low can people sink?

    Independence is the answer and the sooner the better. I look forward to the day I get my passport and it says SCOTLAND on it.

  3. Alasdair Macdonald

    This is a technique that has been used for years to prevent people from raising legitimate concerns. I can remember trade union meetings where standing orders became a weapon for stifling any discussion about issues which the dominant clique did not want raised. I simply use that as an illustrative example, indicating that goal displacement is inevitable in any kind of organisation unless there is persistence by those trying to raise ‘uncomfortable’ matters. Those in positions of authority tend to shape organisations for their own ends and not for the clientele. It happens in schools, hospitals, boardrooms, kirk sessions, etc. While I believe BBC Scotland has a unionist agenda, I think that the egos of some of the people can also affect things in idiosyncratic ways. I suspect that in this matter, the complainant has come up against both.

    I think that having highlighted an inconsistency in the ‘acceptable’ submission procedures between different sections of the organisation is worthy of pursuit. I suspect that the response will be to close the on-line system.

    I recall an incident at a golf club which had veranda off the bar, which had tables on it. Some women members finishing their afternoon round took exception to the foul language and generally boorish behaviour of some well-oiled men on the veranda and lodged a complaint. And the outcome ….? Women members were banned from using the course during the afternoon hours.

  4. Eddy

    As someone who works in a customer care dept., by rejecting all 3 complaints the BBC would fail any complaints audit. Legislation states complaints can be made in any form, not just in writing, but by email and also verbally.

  5. grizebard

    There seems nothing remarkable at all in the 3rd form of complaint. The BBC are up to their usual finger-in-the-ear “na-na-na-na-na-naaaaah – didn’t hear that” tricks.

    Ofcom next, methinks…?

    1. Jockanese Wind Talker

      The BBC is just abiding by its Charter:

      6. The Public Purposes:

      (4) The BBC should bring people together for shared experiences and HELP CONTRIBUTE TO THE SOCIAL COHESION AND WELLBEING OF THE UNITED KINGDOM.*

      *my caps.

      OFCOM are toothless remember:

      “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change”.

      Only Independence will bring genuine change to broadcasting in Scotland.

      Don’t pay the BritNat Propaganda Tax.

  6. Scott

    Sorry about posting this but I’m sure you can help.

    Can someone help with this. BBC & STV running with this how can we find out about Fallon.

    MSPs are calling for a reform of Holyrood payments after discovering a former minister is in line for a golden goodbye of more than £7,000.

    What resettlement grant did Michael Fallon receive when left Government

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