Boris Johnson’s abundant failure in government as his NHS England A&E waiting time figures for December plummet to new depths below 70%!

Go to a Scottish hospital! It’s safer.

I know some don’t like my pursuit of this theme, but my purpose is not to gloat distastefully but rather to strike back at the moronic accusations of the ‘abundant failures in government’ from the Tories. Readers will know, from this blog, that there is almost no area in which Scotland’s public services do not return better statistics than those of England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

A&E waiting times are, however, the best measure of performance, at the edge of life and death, daily.

In December 2019, NHS England’s Type 1 A&E departments treated only 68.6% within four hours.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/ae-attendances-and-emergency-admissions-2019-20/

In the week-ending 29th December, NHS Scotland’s A&E departments treated 85%. The monthly data is not yet in but for the other weeks of December, the figures were 79.9%, 78.9%, 82.6% and 81.2%, giving an average for the month of 81.52%.

https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Emergency-Care/Publications/2019-12-31/Summary-Weekly/index.asp

So, there is a 12.92% difference and that makes NHS Scotland 18.83% better.

Remember that the NHS England figures are based on restarting the clock once patients are admitted to departments whereas NHS Scotland count from first entry to A&E so the difference might be even greater.

Remember, also, that NHS England try to massage their data by including their small Type 2 and 3, ‘Elastoplast’, non-emergency units, in hospitals with no full A&E, and that most of the media, other than Guardian and Independent, accept those figures.

Published by johnrobertson834

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

9 thoughts on “Boris Johnson’s abundant failure in government as his NHS England A&E waiting time figures for December plummet to new depths below 70%!

  1. No criticism from me for highlighting these figures. I read the BBC report and the report in the Guardian report and as you point out the Guardian reports the actual A&E figures while the BBC hides the true figure by including the minor injury unit stats thus making things look better than they are in NHS England A&E. I also noticed that the BBC report referred to the figures for A&E in Scotland in November as ‘the worst figures for Scotland’ but did not quote any actual figures which were still better than NHS England.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘I know some don’t like my pursuit of this theme.’
    Not me. It would be insanity not to point out the lie that is being promoted against Scotland and mad not to continually compare with England when ever it is brought up.
    This is the fake weapon that unionists are attacking Independence with. That and education so don’t stop please.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, you are right to continue to make an issue of this. BBC Scotland persistently attacks NHS Scotland and presents data without context. In addition they select data for the purposes of blame – as an end in itself – a not to begin a discussion about the reasons behind cases which extend beyond the 4 hour target. It is possible that poor service might be a reason in some cases, and, if so, these can be dealt with. Routine monitoring will identify times when bacteria levels, for example, in some places, are above the threshold, but, also, routinely, agreed measures are taken promptly – that is the purpose of monitoring. If there has been a failure to follow procedures, that is an issue and the person or persons should face a disciplinary enquiry and appropriate action taken. However, this does not imply that the entire system is crumbling.

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  4. I too have no problem with your persistence on this topic. The BBC’s mis-reporting frequently angers (and frustrates) me. The A&E example you reference today was so blatant that it goaded me into this complaint (below) to the BBC – yet another waste of time, beyond perhaps some nuisance value, but I felt just a little better at the time of submitting it.

    Subject of complaint: this online article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51046616

    ‘The article fails to report the crucial distinction between performance of Type 1 A&E Departments and ‘all A&E departments’ in NHS England. A Type 1 Department (Major A&E Department) is a consultant led 24 hour service with full resuscitation facilities etc.

    Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/01/Statistical-commentary-December-2019-v2-l9sh7.pdf

    Whilst this source states that “79.8% of patients were seen within 4 hours in all A&E departments this month”(Dec 2019) it also reports that for major, Type 1 A&E Departments in England, only “68.6% of patients were seen within 4 hours.”

    The article asks: “What about the rest of the UK?” It then includes a very limited, data free reference to A&E in Scotland, stating only: “Scotland’s figures for the festive period are not available yet either – but November was one of the worst months on record.”

    Candidly, this wholly fails to inform readers of the actual significance of comparative, cross-UK performances. It also misinforms: waiting time performance data for Scotland’s majorA&E Departments are updated weekly and so late December data had already been published.

    Source: https://www.nhsperforms.scot/hospital-data?hospitalid=59

    For those of Scotland’s Emergency Departments comparable to England’s Type 1 Departments, the % of patients waiting less than 4 hours was 85% at end December 2019. Remember, the equivalent for NHS England was just 68.6%! Is this really not important to report?

    The Nov figure in Scotland for ALL Emergency Departments was 85.5% compared to 79.8% (Dec) and 81.4% (Nov) for the equivalent Departments in England. So why was the actual NHS Scotland figure not given for comparison?

    My complaint here is of ‘poor quality’ but I am sorely tempted to levy the much more serious charge of BBC ‘bias by omission’!’

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  5. A few years ago i had treatment for HepC. HepC is a ticking time-bomb and although i probably had it for over 40 years it is harder to cure as you get older. Treatment required a 12 hour travel time just to get to Gartnavel in Glasgow and back home. I don’t like travelling but it was always fun when i got there because the nurses in the nurse-ran clinic were so positive and fun. The disease appeared to be dormant with no imminent threat so there was no excuse for seriousness on that front. I had to go down every month for 9 months and when that treatment failed i was put on the waiting list for new drugs. I had to go once a month to get blood tests but also because the drugs are so expensive they don’t normally give more than one months supply (locals may even get much less at a time). After about a year i started the new 3 month treatment on extremely expensive drugs (now superseded by much cheaper ones).
    Because of the problem with ferries and possible storms in winter i was entrusted with 2 months worth of drugs. These drugs were worth a lot of money, especially the second course of treatment (the sum is staggeringly embarrassing) but it was necessary because drugs can’t, for strange reasons, be delivered to a local chemist and anyway i need to give blood once a month. No one wants to take the liability of the drugs going missing i suppose. HepC is like HIV, in that if you miss a dose the whole treatment is at risk of failure. They could easily have made this a catch 22 situation but they used common sense and their initiative to break out of what could have been a bureaucratic nightmare and trusted me with drugs worth a small fortune.
    When i asked OK what happens if this course of drugs doesn’t work? The immediate answer ‘we wait for the next set of drugs’ (which were actually in the pipeline).
    Gartnavel may not be the most plush hospital in the world, in fact the outside looks almost 3rd world but it is the staff and the level of care provided which is the important thing. During the whole time, which from the very begging of test and the final all clear was several years, i never once felt that the team were ever bogged down with anything that could possibly interfere with my well being. The clinic and staff were exemplary. Not only were the nurses happy and caring and intelligent they were optimistic in their work which would often have involved relapsing drug addicts.
    Yes i feel sure there must be ways to get blood and medicine to remote places more efficiently but that was the only thing that i could see needed improvement and perhaps this had all been looked at and found to be infeasible.

    Whenever i hear of any attacks on the Scottish SNH without any real evidence it annoys the hell out of me and i have two short words for them.
    Which brings me to my main point. My first run of treatments was during the Independence referendum and one visit was immediately after the result. I didn’t know the nurses attitude to Independence and they didn’t know mine (especially as i speak with an English accent) so i broached the subject delicately. ‘How was it in the hospital when you got the results’. For the first time i saw one of the nurses downcast. She replied ‘It was awful. It was like one of us had died’. She was speaking for the whole hospital.

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  6. Wow – that’s quite a story Annand. Glad to hear it has ended up well for you personally – and am very pleased to note the good reflection this genuine experience throws on the Scottish Health Service. Thanks for sharing.

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