As the Guardian breaks ranks with the other media, prompted by my correction, to reveal that NHS England A&E is a staggering 20% less effective than NHS Scotland with only 74.5% as opposed to 89.2% seen in 4 hours, BBC Scotland ignore the facts and go for two single cases of alleged failure.
The child infection death story is an unsubstantiated case from 2017 fed to BBC Scotland by a Labour politician. Hospital-acquired infection deaths are, of course, much lower than they were under Labour administrations but longer-term trends, of clear public interest, are not mentioned. The editorial decision to use the picture of the Health Secretary, to call her ‘Freeman’ and to suggest personal failure in the wording recalls the image of the First Minister and the Health Secretary on 12th September clearly setting them up as the heads which must roll based on the comments of a Conservative politician. The story of ineffective treatments is about NHS England.
The politicising of NHS Scotland is made abundantly clear just by comparison with the work of BBC England and BBC Wales where the background presence of Tory and Labour administrations means that politicians’ heads never have to roll there, and ‘guilty’ faces need not be associated with headlines.
Though I tend to question the need for conspiracies generally, you have to wonder if the rejection of real news of NHS Scotland’s success and the regular headlining of scare stories of dying children, pigeon-infected hospitals and women in pain does not suggest one, in the offices of BBC Scotland News.