Covid-19 Update: No evidence of maternity bed shortages in Scotland

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.

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11 thoughts on “Covid-19 Update: No evidence of maternity bed shortages in Scotland”

  1. A serious mistake by the SG pre 2014 by not implementing the McCluskey report on press regulation which would have brought the media within the scope of law.
    Measures that were deemed too draconian at the time, seem absolutely necessary,, now.…/new-media-press-regulation-independe…

    We might at least have had some redress against these insidious and viperous articles and the perpetrators.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In addition to your points John.
    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.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. When Mr Douglas Ross was’ installed’ after the defenestration of Mr Jackson Carlaw, Good Morning Scotland had a discussion – led by the GMS interviewer – with a group of political personages and journalists (all having associations with the right of centre bodies) – about what the ‘attack lines’ on the SG should be. The two main ones were agreed as ‘education’ and ‘health’.

    So, this non-story is part of the drip-drip, dogwhistling of small stories – alongside bigger ones like pigeon shit – to create an ethos that education and health are ‘in crisis’.

    A substantial amount of GMS is based on reading out texts and emails which have been solicited. Who checks the accuracy or provenance of these ‘vox pops’. Earlier in the year when mask-wearing on public transport was introduced, immediately after the headline that this was coming in to effect on that very day, a text ‘just received’ was read out -“Just come off the train from Kilmarnock – not a single person wearing a face mask”.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This story reminds me of the one on RS the the other night regarding the Flu vaccine and the two Ladies not knowing what to do and worried about getting it.Both the wife and myself have had letters telling us where to go and when just phone up to get your time,done,you can also get your jag at the Pharmacy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. PS – Until catching up on the FM Update of yesterday, and in particular Dr Steedman’s comment on the combined seriousness of flu/covid, I didn’t realise the importance of the flu jag.
      Certainly sounds like SNHS are going hell for leather to lessen the risks, perhaps you two should too.


      1. I get a text from my Medical Practice asking me to book an appointment if I want one. Must confess, I haven’t usually bothered with the flu jab, but I’m going to this year.


  5. This is their entire premise Scott, the numbers on health related matters who are directly involved in these arrangements on any given day are a tiny percentage of the population, so when they float these bullshit stories against a backdrop of patient confidentiality, the propagandists potentially upset and influence the balance that SG are screwing up, essentially a stitchup.


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