Women ‘terrified’ of using NHS England hospitals so will BBC Scotland consider repeat of one baby death horror story?

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John Robertson:

From BBC UK yesterday:

An independent review will be held into maternity services at the East Kent NHS Trust after up to 15 babies died there in recent years. Nadine Dorries, minister for patient safety, pledged immediate action and said NHS England would investigate the two hospitals in Margate and Ashford.


Notice that the minister did not apologise, nor did BBC UK expect her to. The board is to blame, and all know that. Imagine what Reporting Scotland could have made of this? 15 dead babies so several mums sobbing for their callous cameras and the minister forced into apology for something she could not control.

Reporting Scotland, in the absence of a current story they can exploit could consider returning to their September 2018 horror report using a single death to spread fear pf Scottish maternity units, to see how the mum is coping.

A vase of flowers sitting on a table

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I suppose we should be grateful that was all they showed us

Here’s what I wrote then:

Reporting Scotland’s regular ‘ambulance-chasing’ disclosures of single or rare cases of failure in NHS Scotland remains their favourite proxy strategy to side-swipe the SNP by association with that case. Last night they fell further into the foul-smelling mire than even the Sun or the Daily Mail might go, with the story of the decapitation of a baby in childbirth.

I found it hard to consider just typing that phrase but to want to dwell on it, to savour it and to exploit the grief-stricken mother, in the pretence that this is all about the rights of that mother, is nauseating.

Of course, the case should be pursued with the authorities and, if necessary, with the support of politicians but to dramatize it in this way for public titillation, is beyond belief. I note that even Ruth Davidson has not sought to use the story.

The report itself, with images of the baby scan and extended focus on the face of the teddy-bear-hugging mother was, for me, unwatchable.

Remember, if you can, that this is our public service broadcaster with a royal charter to educate, to inform and to entertain us. Which of those three purposes did this serve?

10 thoughts on “Women ‘terrified’ of using NHS England hospitals so will BBC Scotland consider repeat of one baby death horror story?

  1. I would say that in general, if you are going to be ill or think you might be accused of committing a crime (or indeed if you are in danger of having one committed against you), you do NOT want to be in England, the state of the health and justice services is looking really dire.

    Today is the day we await the UK government response/non-response on the question of whether or not the Scottish Parliament can legislate for an independence referendum under current law, Martin James Keatings gives a good summary of where things are at, and what might happen (not complicated):


    If John is feeling kind, and really has mastered Twitter things, he might unroll on thread reader app and cut and paste the text? … 😉


    1. And the uk government response was:

      “We refer to your letter of 31 January 2020. The United Kingdom Government’s position is that it is outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament
      to legislate for and hold a referendum on Scottish independence.”

      So, to judicial review next!

      I have to say, their response wasn’t very detailed, and sounds a bit like the usual political hyperbole rather than a considered legal response. If that’s their argument in court, we are on to a winner!


  2. Independence march in Stornaway on 18th April:


    John, just wondering if you would do regular updates on when and where upcoming independence marches are – it would allow a wider variety of people to contemplate or plan for them, like this in the Hebrides, it needs a bit more planning. I know you are busy enough as it is! Marches are really good – they show the support there really is and are such a pleasant environment for people to join in with, a few pictures of the variety of age groups and ability joining in to show its a community thing, and a list of upcoming events – makes your blog the go-to place for what’s happening?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s grand for spreading the word!

        I like Twitter because I like hearing other people’s opinions, but I have decided to avoid joining – it’s best I have a few moments of thought before espousing my own opinions – but do realise it’s a bit stymying. I’ll try and gather information and photos of marches and see if I can get something coherent together. Time is not my friend either at the moment. Maybe you could put your children into care to free up some time? kids can be so demanding, wanting fed and bothersome stuff like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. These shock/horror stories continually dripped into bulletins are part of a strategy to reduce public confidence in the NHS so that its privatisation can move forward, without evoking as much public opposition as it would at present. Many of the ‘Blairites’ in the last Labour Government have made fortunes by setting up private health companies and, I suspect their opposition to the Corbyn/Momentum group is to ensure that they still have access to such ‘gravy trains’.

    This tactic was used over a number of years to reduce confidence in British Rail, so that it was able to be privatised without too much opposition.

    Since the BBC looks to be on a fast track to privatisation, I suspect that many within the organsiation are scuttling to get brownie points from the Tories and ‘billets’ in the new privatised media companies or, indeed, a job as propagandists within the Government Information Broadcasting Organisation.

    Liked by 1 person

    Brought to you from Scotland’s equivalent of Deutscher Fernsehfunk!

    But its OK, we will soon have a Baroness Ruthie Von Gravy-Train, having to give up on politics in Em’bro (where she was slated in as FM, or was it PM? Hard to remember–but it was the “dizzy heights”!) to be closer to Baby Finn in London.

    Alas the sacrifices she has had to make!

    Makes Lady Moanin’ face* look like a communist.

    Liked by 1 person

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