50% more nurses in Scotland but Herald’s Hobgoblin Correspondent presents trade union’s dodgy research to help Tories as election looms

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This, by Helen McCardle again, is based on a survey by a trade union, the RCN, with a tiny unreliable self-selecting sample telling us nothing other than what the union and the Union would like us to think. It’s another example of what H L Mencken told us 100 years ago (see quote in header above).

How real are the unsafe staffing pressures alluded to? NHS Scotland has 50% more nurses per capita and is generally 25% better staffed than NHS England. See these two parliamentary answers from Jeanne Freeman in April 2019:

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McCardle has ‘previous’. On October 30th she claimed that ‘half of older doctors were planning to quit’ yet only 167 out of 8 000 did in 2017-2018 and that was down from 185 the previous year:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-19-00620/

With the Tories looking disturbingly strong in recent polls this really matters.

Published by johnrobertson834

Retired Professor of Media Politics Not-for-profit independent political analysis

4 thoughts on “50% more nurses in Scotland but Herald’s Hobgoblin Correspondent presents trade union’s dodgy research to help Tories as election looms

  1. I had to pay a visit to A&E this morning because of a nosebleed I could not stop. I was triaged within 5 minutes of arrival and, by the time I was called in for treatment (about 20mins later) I had stopped the bleeding myself. However, I was given a full examination and appropriate tests. Within the department things were fairly busy, but there was a sense of calm order. All staff – including three students in training – I met were competent but, most importantly, treated me like a human being. I was in the department for around 3 hours, but, most of that time was spent making sure that the bleeding had definitely stopped. While a 4 hour target is, at best, a useful guide, the important thing is that the time taken is appropriate to effective treatment.

    This was Glasgow Royal Infirmary, which has a very busy casualty department, but, it was quieter on a Thursday morning, although there was a steady stream of patients. I have been, too, on a Saturday evening, when things are at their busiest, but, again, there was a sense of order and purpose and staff and patients were friendly and respectful towards each other. I have been in when there have been one or two bampots shouting the odds, but these are the exception.

    Interestingly, while I was waiting I was surveyed on two different aspects of the service. These were by permanent staff, not students, and seemed to be part of the continuous monitoring and evaluation.

    The NHS in general and hospitals in particular are complex organisations. We have an ageing population and an increasing population and our expectations from the system are greater than 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago so these complex organisations have to evolve continuously to meet demand. We as users and taxpayers need to be engaged in these discussions so that constructive decisions are made. What we do not need is blaming by the media and the cynical use of grief stricken family members, who have sincere concerns, for narrow political ends. BBC Scotland News and Current Affairs staff, and those in other media and broadcasting bodies, particularly those in health reporting need a good kick in the arse.

    Liked by 1 person

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