RLS-UK Complaint to OFCOM regarding Channel 5's "Restless Legs Syndrome: A New Cure?”

RLS-UK is submitting a complaint to OFCOM further to Channel 5’s '‘Restless Legs Syndrome: A New Cure?” which was transmitted on 6th March 2019. An outline of the complaint lies below and the content of this complaint should not differ too significantly from what is written, however for the purposes of transparency we should say that we may make amendments to the complaint to ensure it achieves its objective.

TO OUR SUPPORTERS AND MEMBERS: IF YOU WISH TO, PLEASE ADD A BRIEF COMMENT BELOW. PLEASE ENSURE YOU INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND THE FIRST THREE CHARACTERS OF YOUR POSTCODE (THESE ARE NEEDED FOR THE COMPLAINT TO BE ACCEPTED). ALSO, PLEASE ONLY COMMENT IF YOU WATCHED THE PROGRAMME AND YOU ARE RESIDENT IN THE UK OR IRELAND. THANK YOU.

Complaint STARTS

(General RLS-UK introduction accompanied by overview of what RLS is)

We wish to complain about Channel 5’s '‘Restless Legs Syndrome: A New Cure?”, which was transmitted on 6th March 2019.

We believe that the programme title was purposefully misleading as there is no cure for Restless Legs Syndrome, which Channel 5 were aware of before the transmission of the programme. Dr. Julian Spinks, a General Practitioner who participated in the programme, stated that there is no cure for RLS during the programme.

RLS is a neurological disorder which can severely impact on quality of life for patients as well as those around them. Its effects can be so severe that a recent study concluded that approximately 10% of RLS patients have considered suicide due to the severity of their symptoms. As it affect up to 10% of the UK population at some point in their lives, accurate and honest reporting behaviour by the media is extremely important. We feel that Channel 5 did not meet these expectations and in fact exploited their awareness that there is no cure for RLS, pretending to offer hope to vulnerable patients. We were extremely disappointed by their misleading programme title and believe that the inclusion of a ‘? at the end of the programme title was an attempt by Channel 5 to give themselves a way out in the event of viewer complaints. The programme offered no evidence, absolutely none, to support the inclusion of ‘A New Cure?’ in the programme title.

We have invited people who watched the programme to add their own comments to this complaint so their voices can be heard. Their names and comments accompany this complaint.

Complaint ENDS

REMINDER: IF YOU WISH TO, PLEASE ADD A BRIEF COMMENT BELOW. PLEASE ENSURE YOU INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND THE FIRST THREE CHARACTERS OF YOUR POSTCODE (THESE ARE NEEDED FOR THE COMPLAINT TO BE ACCEPTED). ALSO, PLEASE ONLY COMMENT IF YOU WATCHED THE PROGRAMME AND YOU ARE RESIDENT IN THE UK OR IRELAND. THANK YOU.