Will BBC Scotland tonight mention their apology for Jackie Bird’s pigeon lie which the editor said she had warned her about?

On February 12th 2019, I wrote:

Here’s my complaint on 24th January:

‘In a report on deaths at the QEU Hospital, Jackie Bird said: ‘[T]he deaths of two patients from a rare fungal infection.’

This is inaccurate. We knew from the BBC website the same day: ‘The health board said one of the patients was elderly and had died from ‘an unrelated cause’. The factors contributing to the death of the other patient are being investigated.’ 


So in neither case did the patient die ‘from’ a rare fungal infection. One clearly died from ‘an unrelated cause’ and the other’s death was still being investigated.’

In the response, the editor admits that the report was ‘wrong’, apologises and tells us that they have had a word with all involved. I know, it’s a small victory after they have managed to inflate the story and to then run it well beyond any reasonable assessment of its importance. As for speaking to all involved, I doubt Jackie has been humbled in any way.

Here’s the full response:

Dear Professor Robertson

Thank you for your correspondence regarding Reporting Scotland. Your comments were passed to the Editor, Reporting Scotland, who has asked that I forward their response as follows:

“Thank you for being in touch about the teatime edition on 21st January.

This is the intro by Jackie Bird to our health correspondent’s report: “The health secretary will meet NHS officials tomorrow, to discuss the deaths of two patients from a rare fungal infection, believed to be linked to pigeon droppings, found at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth university hospital. The health board says the hospital is safe for patients and visitors, and has apologised for the disruption caused by measures taken to control the infection. Our health correspondent Lisa Summers reports.”

I have reviewed what was said and the process that led to what was said. The NHS press release which contained information we used started by referring to the investigation into “the cause of two isolated cases of Cryptococcus”; and, several paragraphs later, quoted the medical director as saying: “Our thoughts are with the families of the two patients who have sadly died.”

It appears that the fact that the two people had the infection and that they had died had been conflated by the intro writer into the deaths having both been caused by the infection.

That was not a conclusion that could reasonably be drawn. We were therefore wrong and I apologise for that.

I should add that, at the very top of her report and coming therefore immediately after the introduction, our health correspondent said: “Investigations continue at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital after it emerged late last week that two patients had died after testing positive for an airborne fungal infection linked to pigeon droppings.” That was entirely accurate.

I am grateful to you for raising this issue and can assure you that we constantly review our procedures in order to improve our service to licence fee payers. In this case I have spoken to all involved and have emphasised the points that you made in your complaint.”

9 thoughts on “Will BBC Scotland tonight mention their apology for Jackie Bird’s pigeon lie which the editor said she had warned her about?

  1. In this instance you are merely taking to a brick in the wall
    Why because you,I and many others of us
    Are regarded as merely being
    Just Another Brick In The Wall
    And we certainly DO NOT need this type of so called Education
    Tis more like INDOCTRINATION

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Groundhog day, John.

    The same old, same old, same old. Every day, every way, every chance they get.

    Hopefully we will have a new broadcaster in Scotland in a few years. The SBC.
    These daily performances are the CV’s they will present at their SBC job interviews.
    So we will have LOTS of NEW faces to look forward to.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve now read the report pretty much in full. I’m no expert either in designing and maintaining hospitals nor in infection control but I can read and direct a complex report – I’d have been without a profession if I couldn’t!

    I agree with this. Headline: “Multiplex hospital design not linked to deaths”. This from a media outlet with ‘no skin in the game’ of politics of Scotland.

    “An independent review has concluded that the design, build, commissioning and maintenance of Multiplex’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow (QEUH) WAS NOT LINKED to avoidable deaths there.” (my emphasis)


    So what did BBC Scotland tell us tonight? Having seen the earlier BBC 1 TV schedule of English football and the BBC 2 TV schedule of English football and something about ‘Thatcher’ I turned away and did not watch their programme on the new Western General Hospital – the BBC effectively mocking me and others in Scotland should only make us stronger in our support for self-determination!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Its only 7.15am and already they have launched their first QEUH propaganda assault on Scotland of the day .

    No mention of their apology

    You can inform the propagandists by texting to 80295.


  5. “Lionel Barber
    BBC should have broadcast pictures of Jenrick and Desmond sitting together at Tory fund raiser. This is news pure and simple – not fake and not comment. And it’s unquestionably in public interest for a public service broadcaster #Jenrick”

    Double standards.

    Liked by 1 person

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