According to the Guardian yesterday:
Absence rates in some hospitals are now between 8% and 12%, versus the health service’s normal level of 4%, just as the NHS comes under the greatest strain in its history.
Three days ago, The Scottish Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties warned health services were in danger of being overwhelmed. Their warning was heavily reported in the Scottish media:
However, as Andrew Marr put it, when you look at the data, isn’t the truth that it isn’t?
Here are the data:
There are approximately 160 000 staff in NHS Scotland. The absence level peaked at 5.8% in early April, fell to 0.7% in August, climbed to 2% in November and is now at 1.7%.
So, staff absence in NHS England is 4 to 6 times higher than in Scotland.
Why is this the case?
Could the fact that the community infection level in Scotland is consistently only half of that in England, be important?
Could the fact that NHS Scotland is far better staffed be a factor too?