‘The Usual Rubbish About Equal Opportunities’: NHS Job Advert Pulled from Website After Blunder

Daily Mail (London), September 6, 2011

It’s probably what a great many think about advertisements for public sector jobs.

But the words ‘the usual rubbish about equal opportunities’ were clearly not supposed to be published.

A Liverpool hospital trust has begun an inquiry after the phrase was accidentally published on its website.

The advert by the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust invited applications for a trainee anaesthetist.

But the familiar provision about equal opportunities that usually appears at the bottom of such adverts was replaced by the rather embarrassing ‘usual rubbish’ phrase.

The blunder prompted a flurry of comments on Twitter about the importance of proof-reading and some called the mistake ‘hilarious’.

The advertisement has since been updated to remove the statement.

It is believed to have been spotted by a doctor who saw it when he was looking to apply for the position.

The advert, published last Thursday, was for a one-year post as a fellow in anaesthesia, working alongside consultants at the two Liverpool hospitals.

A trust spokesman said no one had been identified in connection with the mistake yet and confirmed the advert had been uploaded internally.

The spokesman said: ‘The wording on this advert in no way reflects the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust’s position in relation to equal opportunities, to which it is fully committed.

‘The trust is conscious of its duty to promote equality. The trust will be conducting an investigation into this incident to ensure that this cannot happen again.’



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  • Jim

    That is funny. Some manager let a naive literalist subordinate type the ad.

  • Seek

    In Washington, a “gaffe” is when someone accidentally tells the truth. It appears this principle holds true in the UK as well. Of course, the offending party pulled the ad.

  • Tim in Indiana

    I think it was a blunder. I don’t think someone was making a political statement, simply because the penalties are so stiff for saying this kind of thing, especially in the UK. Heads are going to roll because of this!!!

  • Anonymous

    During ‘reconstruction’ in the US I believe an equal-opportunity advertisement read that a job was open to applicants, ‘regardless of race or previous condition of servitude’.

  • fred

    Now THAT is what I call truth in advertising!

    This wasn’t a prank. Some supervisor passed the ad off to a secretary to publish. And the secretary published it verbatim rather than filling in the blanks with the standard equal opportunity “rubbish”. That just goes to show that everyone knows this equal opportunity stuff is “rubbish”.

  • William

    I assume somone accidentally uploaded a draft version rather than the final version.

  • Alexandra

    I’m all for equal opportunity…just not forcing equal outcome.

  • Anonymous

    no doubt it will prompt an investigation.. the left cant’ afford to have too many people laughing at it.

  • jdavis

    Pretty sure it was incompetence. Where I live and do business I am constantly overwhelmed by how much people care, how they want to meet every need, to earn my business, to really show they care…they are still incompetent, usually failing in some respect, however, they sure do care.

    You need surgery, do you want a caring, hugging surgeon, someone who cares and cries with you, yet is incompetent…or do you want someone who is solid and competent? Not rude but not huggy.

  • Spirit Wolf

    It could just have been a judgement call on the part of a subordinate.

    When I was doing medical dictatyping (extinct job), the surgeon I worked for threw a curveball into his correspondence with a GP that I had to think about whether or not I should include.

    I knew it was a joke for the other doctor (the patient was a terrible and well-known hypochondriac)but it could have been very insulting to the patient had s/he ever read their own file. (the joke was to Carbon-Copy the letter to Jack Kevorkian.)

    I then remembered that it was my job to type what I heard, not to engage in editorial activities. So I included the joke. Never heard anything about it later, though.

    Dunno if what I did was right or not. I just did my job the way I thought I was supposed to do it.

  • Anonymous

    Clearly someone sent or put this in the hands of another person who was going to be the person to post it. That person simply posted it without even reading it or maybe they were hanging the person out to dry who assigned them to post it! Either way very funny.

  • down the bayou

    “the wording on this advert in no way reflects…NHS Trust’s position in relation to equal opportunities, to which it is fully committed” ~the usual rubbish.

    LOL this is indeed hilarious!

  • Ken

    Someone deserves a promotion!