Whenever churnos talk of spikes, like the one that wasn’t in the Glasgow cancer wards for children, I reach for my varifocals and the source material.

Here it is:


The black line goes up and down between 6.5 and 2 stillbirths per 1 000 total births. It has recently climbed above 5 but was even higher in 2017 when there was no pandemic.

Nevertheless the Herald’s Health Correspondent thinks:

Aha! A spike. This will make a good headline.’

But just below the graph:

As stillbirths and infant deaths are relatively rare events in Scotland mortality rates tend to fluctuate over time just by chance.

She either didn’t read or ignored this important point and, of course, the red dotted lines indicating whether

values are unexpectedly low or high and require further investigation.

So it’s not a ‘spike’ just fluctuation within the normal range. No story here.