A picture containing indoor, sitting, table, room

Description automatically generated

Top story in the Herald last night, the above headline followed by:

Nearly one in three patients in intensive care in Scotland is now being treated for complications caused by coronavirus. The figure emerged as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed that breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening is being suspended to help free up NHS staff and reduce the risk of virus exposure to patients.

The headline, especially, but also the opening line too, are just wrong and potentially, panic-inducing. Patients who were admitted to intensive care units (ICU) for some other reason are not then being ‘struck down’ by the virus. Patients who were admitted with coronavirus infections in the first place are in some cases then being admitted to ICUs. They now make up around 33% of those in ICUs.

To be very clear, no patient has contracted the virus after admission to a Scottish hospital. There has been one such case in Wales and others may have taken place in West Midlands. That headline is a disgrace.

Less worrying but disappointing in terms of quality, the report is full of meaningless links such as the ‘figure emerging’ above. It should for accuracy read:

Breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening is being suspended to reduce the risk of virus exposure to patients and [then] may help free up NHS staff.

The Health Secretary was clear on that.

Rubbish, pure rubbish!