Scottish Labour and BBC Scotland fecklessly try to use Holyrood Committee report to undermine SNP Government with fake news, again

This is another attempt by Lewis Macdonald to exploit his position as convener of the Health Committee to feed the media with a scare story. On further checking, I find no slamming.

He has previous. In April, he got Prof Pennington in to tell the Scottish Government what it should be doing about contact tracing.

Here are the opening lines in his report for BBC Scotland today:

MSPs have called for urgent reforms amid “huge concerns” about Scotland’s “incoherent” medicines system. Holyrood’s health committee said there were “serious failings” in the supply of medicines in Scotland, saying the system “fails to put patients first”. Their inquiry found an “almost complete absence of useable data” about whether drugs were effective or even taken.

First, ‘incoherent’, ‘serious failings’, ‘fails to put patients first’ and ‘usable data’ do not appear in the report and there is only one ‘huge concern’ and only about data collection and analysis.

Second, the sources in the key opening paragraph are not reliable. BBC Scotland offer us:

Instead, the system is burdened by market forces, public sector administrative bureaucracyi and reported under resourcingii, inconsistent leadership and a lack of comprehensive, strategic thinking and imaginationiii, allied to an almost complete absence of useable dataiii.

Source i is a single letter from one Director of Pharmacy. It does not contain the words ‘market’ or ‘bureaucracy.’

Source ii is a single letter from one member of the Royal College of GPs (a trade union) in Scotland. There is no mention of ‘under resourcing’ or for that matter ‘under supply.’

Source iii is the report of a previous meeting of the same committee.

The words ‘inconsistent’, ‘leadership’, ‘comprehensive’ and ‘imagination’ do not appear nor does the phrase ‘strategic thinking.’ ‘Strategic’ does appear three times but anything that might suggest a general lack of thinking or planning comes from a single witness who does not seem to represent any wider body.

The word ‘useable’ does not appear. The word ‘data’ appears 63 times and on the first six occasions talks about how ‘we have good data.’ A few later references suggest improvements that would make things ‘easier’ but there is no suggestion of ‘almost complete absence of useable data.’

Fake news?

14 thoughts on “Scottish Labour and BBC Scotland fecklessly try to use Holyrood Committee report to undermine SNP Government with fake news, again”

  1. Yep, looks very like fake news…they are desperate indeed. The Britnats really want to destroy the reputation of Scotland’s NHS, and of course, the SNP. I know someone who has had cancer for a few years, and has had excellent SNHS treatment. It took a while but he stopped complaining about the SNHS, as if it was the same as the English NHS.

    The Torygraph being his go to news read, as far as he was concerned, the NHS was UK wide, and all in a terrible mess.

    He seems to now realise that in fact he is receiving state of the art treatment, which does not tally with what he was reading in the Torygraph.

    People can see for themselves the quality and level of healthcare they receive Scotland. Looking at your article, it looks like the Britnats are going for the administration and higher level of functioning, ( going for the jugular?) looking for the tiniest flaw to inflate for their Britnat media, including lying about it all. Desperate, but dangerous, in thinking about extremes they will go to.

    Reading venezuela analysis (news) it’s on a smaller scale at the moment in Scotland, but not dissimilar to tactics used by rogue right wing countries to bring down governments they don’t like. Sanctions, lies, and targetting the very fabric of the functioning of major essential services. Sinister indeed.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Medicines, medical supplies and poisons are reserved matters though decisions on the funding of medicines are devolved. Brexit will make a difference. The European Medicines Agency is based in London and is the largest EU agency in the UK. It is currently withdrawing staff to a new location.

    There is a report on the issues affecting medicines in Scotland here. It is not critical of the Scottish government. The main problems are price and availability of medicines.

    “The UK Government’s EU Exit Analysis identified pharmaceuticals as the sector for which UK/EU market access is the most important.

    Key concerns include; potential challenges around ensuring supply in the face of border delays, potential impact on price and the UK pharmaceutical industry, as well as implications for the licensing system and clinical research.”

    Liked by 4 people

      1. And that is not the only thing that shall vacate London
        Scottish MP,s
        Large chunks of financial services
        Along with any who have a Brain and a sense of common decency
        Every time I have been there
        I found that the only good thing that comes out of that place is
        The Flight Home
        The Train Home

        Liked by 1 person

  3. There have been some supply problems, but this has been on the whole due to the big Pharmas trying to stop production of Generic drugs. I’m speaking from personal experience here. That isn’t to say I didn’t get my prescribed treatment, I was given the non generic version, but at a higher cost to NHS Scotland.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. In this instance indeed is it not Lewis Macdonald
    Who is Incoherent with his huge
    So concerned I became at sight of this
    I immediately gave my great personal friend The Campbell Clan Chief a call
    and he assured me that he will dispatch
    A platoon of his finest Dragoons to deal
    With this Upstart of a Macdonald
    And on the grounds of continuous serious
    Albeit incoherent disloyalty to the Scottish Government
    P.S. Top Hollywood studio in negotiations
    For the film rights for the impending disaster
    Breaking news Share price for Macdonalds
    Collapsing on World stock markets as they hear the news of a serious outbreak
    Of Mad Cow Disease amongst Macdonalds servings and all commenced
    With a carry out collected for and by the BBC Senior Staff and has now spread rapidly to 99.9% of die hard No voters
    But more importantly this terrible disease
    Is airborne and enters the body then the brain via the ears
    So serious is this matter for Macdonald that they are to implement a major rebranding C/W a immediate name change
    NOW you may ask what part of all this is
    Fake News Folks Fake News Folks

    Liked by 1 person

  5. O/T – well it’s about BBC Scotland (again/yawn!)

    I watched BBC Scotland news (BBC 1) on 29 June, c.2235 hours. It had a short piece from the House of Commons on the incident involving asylum seekers and Police Scotland at the Park Inn Hotel in Glasgow.

    The bulk of the time was given over to Home Office minister Chris Philp speaking from the despatch box. The BBC Scotland editor opted to broadcast Philp telling us how proud he is: “.. this country has an extremely proud history of looking after asylum seekers. We look after them much better than many, if not most, other European countries ..”

    And then oddly, I thought when watching, the BBC Scotland then gives us a shot of Christine Jardine, the Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West sitting on the Commons bench.

    On checking Hansard, Ms Jardine did ask the minister a question – asking for a “full public enquiry” – and received this ‘I’m proud’ response from him. However, as best as I recall, BBC Scotland didn’t even broadcast her request for a public enquiry, just the “I’m proud’ Tory’s response.

    However, the editorial decision made by BBC Scotland becomes even more odd – but for TuSC regulars not surprising – when the full Hansard record is examined.

    The Common’s proceedings on this matter were triggered by an ‘urgent question’ from the MP whose constituency was directly affected by the incident, the SNP’s Alison Thewliss. Ms. Thewliss had made a powerful and challenging speech at the start of the session.

    During the subsequent questions to the Home Office minister, no fewer than six SNP MPs challenged the minister. None of them even got their picture on the telly but Christine Jardine did, even though, unlike her, all six are MPs for Glasgow constituencies.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Reading the Executive Summary of this parliamentary report I was also struck by the tone by some of the language. I decided to check out what lay behind it, what lay within the body of evidence. I decided to check out which witness before the committee referred to ‘Post It Notes” as to gain this prominence in the Executive Summary the term must have some significance!

    We find this within the Executive Summary: “Discussions on whether and how medicines were taken, and the effects of these, are at best being recorded on Post It Notes and at worst disappearing without record. Patients expect and deserve a better system than this.” This is strong stuff!

    Helpfully, the reference to ‘Post It Notes’ in the Summary is linked to “Health and Sport Committee, Official Report, 4 February 2020, Col 11”. So I went there.

    But when you look at the official record, you find the discussion during which ‘Post It Notes” were mentioned was about something quite different. It was NOT about whether or how medicines were taken as the Executive Summary states. Rather it was about communication between pharmacists and GPs in situations where the former had some concern with the content of the prescription that the GP had issued issued. This is the only reference to Post-It Notes I can find.

    Here is the exchange doing the evidence session:

    From Jonathan Burton (Royal Pharmaceutical Society): “Every time I spot a discrepancy on a prescription, I need to make a judgment call. It might be a technical issue that simply requires me to send the prescription back with a note—yes, we are still in the world of Post-it notes, which is shameful—or I might need to pick up the phone and speak directly to a clinical colleague, if there is a clinical aspect to the case that is individual to the prescription. However, it could be a more general issue, such as a medicine-supply issue. I might need to flag with a GP that we are having a supply issue with a medicine or group of medicines and ask them to have a think about their preferred choices for that patient group, so that we do not keep hitting up against that issue time and time again.”

    And later from Miles Briggs MSP: “In your day-to-day professional life, what percentage of prescriptions is it appropriate to query? You can just give me a guesstimate.”

    Jonathan Burton replies: “Studies have been done. This statistic is completely off the top of my head—either back me up or shoot me down here, colleagues—but I think that around 5 per cent of prescriptions are technically not quite right. That encompasses a wide range of issues—from prescriptions that are clinically inappropriate to purely technical issues that are not patient-safety issues. There have been some fairly large studies on rates of errors in prescribing.”

    One is left to wonder how many of the 5% of prescriptions queried are queried via a Post It Note rather than say an e-mail or a phone call?

    But more importantly, one is left to wonder why the Executive Summary of this parliamentary committee report uses the (pejorative) ‘Post It Note’ reference in what is a wholly different context from the one in which a witness used the term.

    This only makes one ‘suspicious’ of what may lie behind the other examples of fairly extreme, negative language used in the Executive Summary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant investigative reporting Stewartb; it can be very laborious going through parliamentary reports and committee sessions, so good on ye for keeping at it.


    2. it notes and i am related to the individual who completely revised issue of medicines in all Occs.
      CANNOT be done without a prescription
      No matter what where or when ( Except emergency call outs but administrators must record and account for all used and what for and to whom )
      So all medicines issued to any person is AUTOMATICALLY transferred to their personal SHNS file
      The system is fool proof and if not then serious offences being committed and any individual doing so is open to serious disciplinary procedures
      All this formed a intergral part of major exercise ( ongoing but almost complete )
      Of joining up all matters in IT tech. For the whole of SNHS
      Such has proven to be a major contributor in the success of SHNS in containing covid 19
      If the public only knew of the efforts this team have put into this then NO ONE could ever point a finger at SHNS
      In fact some prev NO or undecided voters
      In the team have now switched to YES

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My thanks to all for your diligence and perseverance. I learnt a great deal from this post and much to pass on, not an infrequent event with TuS.


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