BBC UK and the Herald yesterday were happy to accept the UK Government’s claim to have surpassed the covid-19 testing target, few thought they would achieve, a few days earlier. Did none think to investigate the veracity of their claim? The Herald just loved it because they could then use it as a stick to beat the Scottish Government with.

The Health Service Journal’s investigative reporters, clearly of a different standard, were not so easily fooled. Yesterday they wrote:

Revealed: How government changed the rules to hit 100,000 tests target

The government has changed the way it is counting the number of covid-19 tests carried out in a bid to hit its target of 100,000 tests per day by the end of April, HSJ can reveal. Previously, a test would be counted once the sample had been processed in laboratories. But this definition has been changed in the last few days, a senior source told HSJ.

The Department of Health and Social Care is now including tests that have been posted or delivered to people’s homes in its figures. This means tests which are sent to people are counted before the recipient has provided and returned their sample to a laboratory. Speaking at today’s press conference, health secretary Matt Hancock said the government had reached its target yesterday after carrying out more than 122,000 tests. 

HSJ understands that up to 50,000 of those tests include the dispatch of tests sent to individuals at home. HSJ understands the number of home test kits that have been returned by Amazon this week is about one one third of the number posted.

Come on Scottish reporters! National?

Wait! Reporting Scotland caught me off guard by being uncritical, even praising, of the SG achieving its testing target. Connection?

Wait! Daily Express sticking with it: