Updated: Have Scotland’s hospitals infected far fewer with Covid-19 than most?

Regulars here will remember the above Glasgow anaesthetist (right) prophesying infection doom after noticing wrongly placed hand-sanitisers, in her opinion as one who is not an infection control specialist in the QEUH. Her comments then went viral and she was interviewed or quoted on every BBC Scotland outlet.

Needless to say, there is no breakdown in Nick Triggle’s report (left) for BBC Health today. He does claim that the research report from King’s College indicates that overall the infection rate in hospitals was low but we don’t hear of any differences between hospitals in the 4 nations or in Italy. As far as I can see there is no such detail in the anonymised report.

Triggle, you may remember repeatedly uses the wrong A&E data for NHS England to narrow the apparent gap with the far superior NHS Scotland performance. His writing will have been a big help to the PM when he explodes with fake news about NHS Scotland having ‘resilience problems.’

I’ve often requested a breakdown of research data to reveal something about Scotland and get mostly ignored or denied access but in this case, Dr Ben Carter responded quickly and helpfully with this:

At first sight, in percentage terms, the Covid-19 hospital-acquired infection rates seem similar but when you look at the raw numbers things seem different.

On average, the two English hospitals had 262 cases, the four Welsh hospitals had 146 cases, the Italian hospital had 154 cases but the four Scottish hospitals had only 72 cases.

Further why so few English and so many Scots and Welsh hospitals in the thus skewed sample? Did the English hospitals fear exposure? Did Matt Hancock tell them not to take part?


Data were collected across ten centres in the UK (Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr [Caerphilly], Royal Gwent Hospital [Newport], Nevill Hall Hospital [Abergavenny], Southmead Hospital Bristol [Bristol], Aberdeen Royal Infirmary [Aberdeen], Royal Alexandra Hospital [Paisley], Royal Inverclyde Hospital [Inverclyde], Salford Royal Infirmary [Salford], Glasgow Royal Infirmary [Glasgow], and the University Hospital of Wales [Cardiff]) and one Italian hospital (University Hospital of Modena Policlinico [Modena]). 


9 thoughts on “Updated: Have Scotland’s hospitals infected far fewer with Covid-19 than most?”

  1. Suggesting that doctors trained in anaesthesia aren’t experts in infection control shows that you aren’t actually aware of how and in what these doctors are trained.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Prof John did not suggest that though. He said that this anaesthetist is not an infection control specialist. Anaesthetists are highly trained professionals. The BBC dined out on the story about badly placed sanitisers. The BBC used that to imply that the SNHS hospital infection rate was on par with Italy. The facts tell us otherwise and indeed it is England which has a hospital infection rate worse than Italy.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Anaesthetists are all trained in intensive care too. They know exactly where basins and sanitiser systems should be placed to promote good hand hygiene. Maybe her intervention increased awareness so mitigated the possible results.
        BTW the story about infection rates in different areas of the UK stood on its own without adding her into it.


  2. Pigeons land on the roofs of Scotland’s hospitals and shit there. Nowhere else in the world does this happen according to ‘expert’ May Ditup, who is well-known to and consulted by our dedicated and sternly moral media.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Some tweets adding to the research about hospital acquired infection comparisons.

    Coronavirus: One in eight hospital cases were ‘caught on-site’ – BBC News.

    But there is an interesting extra little nugget in the story.

    “They were older, frailer and had pre-existing health conditions.”
    But they also had better outcomes than those admitted with the virus, probably because of faster diagnosis and, therefore, treatment.”

    So the older and frailer fare better if they get early diagnosis & treatment?

    I think that would rather kick into touch the treatment of the old & frail in care homes and this requires a rapid rethink coming up to winter.

    What treatment strategies were deployed?
    Can they be made available in care/ nursing homes?
    Are they appropriately administered there?

    Rae Webster???


  4. Sorry. The research suggests early diagnosis and treatment brought better outcomes for the old and frail than those admitted to hospital with the virus. The three questions then posed by O’Leary, tweeter, are: What treatment strategies were deployed?
    Can they be made available in care/ nursing homes?
    Are they appropriately administered there?

    You may not know the answers to them but I wondered if you had any observations to make drawing on your experience (whatever that is… but you seem to have a medical background.)


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