At first, in Scotland and still in the other three NHS areas of the UK, only deaths in hospital where patients had been shown to be infected prior to death were counted.

At that time, I was reporting shocking death rates in English hospitals of a 3 to 4 times higher level than in Scotland. While accepting that there are many variables involved, I used these figures to argue that they revealed, contrary to the PM’s disgraceful, now ironic, claim that NHS Scotland had issues of resilience going into the outbreak, it was actually performing much better. Again accepting limits to any conclusions, I argued that better staffing levels, cleaner hospitals due to in-house services, less privatisation generally and a more consultative relationship with government, must be playing some part in this.

Recently, only in Scotland, possible coronavirus deaths outside hospital, especially in care homes for the elderly, have been included. Now the death rate in Scotland has worsened to only around half the rate in England. This surge has been popular in our MSM.

So, I agree with the Herald, we should have separate numbers so that we can still measure hospital performance as a percentage of those admitted who die.

On the matter of counting care home deaths, of course we should and, of course, so should the Tory ‘government’ in England. Sadly, the true horror of the situation, caused by their cavalier approach to lock-down, will be revealed.