In the Herald (where else?) today, we see another NHS Scotland scare story based on one unsubstantiated incident reported by someone who did not want to be named (but did like the photo?) and anecdotes from a campaigning group’s chatroom.
Here’s the essence of the story:
I had a look at the Mumsnet ‘sources‘ and I found one or two mums-to-be anxious about maternity arrangements, in English hospitals only.
I searched for media reports of maternity bed shortages in Scotland and found none. If there really were such shortages, do you really think Lisa Summers would not be telling us?
When I took the word ‘Scotland’ out of the search keywords, I found:
When you look for statistics, you find more than 50 000 births annually and around 170 stillbirths strongly correlated with factors such as:
- Having twins or a multiple pregnancy.
- Having a baby who doesn’t reach his or her growth potential in the womb.
- Having a baby at an older maternal age.
- Smoking, drinking alcohol or misusing drugs while pregnant.
- Being obese (having a BMI of 30+).
- Having some pre-existing physical health conditions
and not one mention of bed shortages as a factor in any cases:
Finally, a comment from Clydebuilt:
A patient being told to phone around is 100% not true. When a unit is full they go to “Divert” . Patients are told which hospital to go to. They are not told to ring around hospitals.