Here’s the thing. On the rollout to those not living in care homes, Scotland is behind England.
Why? As readers know, we followed the JCVI advice and spent much of our energy getting the difficult task of vaccinating the most vulnerable done. It’s 98% done. It will never be 100% done. Some residents cannot be done for health reasons. NHS England has sent another letter offering to get it done by the 15th February. They’re not done. Based on their record so far, they won’t be done then either.
When Scotland was putting in the effort to save lives in the care homes, NHS England at the behest of the Tories was putting all its efforts into getting the walking elderly through the mass vaccination centres, determined to beat the Europeans and, only really as an afterthought, show the Jocks what they can do.
BUT that’s not all. Scotland is behind England on other things too:
Covid infection levels:
Care home deaths:
Care homes in England experienced the highest increase in excess deaths at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to those in the rest of the UK, according to new research. A study – co-ordinated from the University of Stirling’s Management School – found that care homes in England recorded a 79 percent increase in excess deaths, compared to 66 percent in Wales, 62 percent in Scotland and 46 percent in Northern Ireland.
Andrew Marr said in his interview with Nicola Sturgeon in November:
What about people dying in Scottish care homes? Again, we have gone back to the data and looking at a report by the University of Stirling – 47% of the deaths in Scotland were in care homes. That’s a lot, lot higher than in England where it was 30%.
Leaving aside his obvious lack of understanding of what those figures actually mean there’s an obvious corollary –
53% of the deaths in Scotland were in hospitals. That’s a lot, lot lower than in England where it was 70%?
In the Daily Mail on the 20th January:
Thousands of ‘probable’ cases of Covid caught in hospitals in NHS England have been excluded from official figures. Health officials calculating the rate of cases in hospital settings omitted instances where patients contracted coronavirus between seven and 14 days after admission – despite the fact the virus has an incubation period of up to six days in 95 per cent of cases. This practice goes directly against official advice to staff to categorised these cases as ‘hospital onset’ infections, and allowed NHS England to claim that its ‘nosocomial rates – referring to Covid patients infected in hospital – are down to as little as 7.7 per cent.
In NHS Scotland the most recent figures, for week-ending 27th December put the definite hospital onset figure at 1.9% and the probable rate at 0.4%.
So, the rate in England of hospital-acquired Covid infection is between 3 and 4 times higher even with these fiddled figures.
Back in October, the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine at Oxford put the rate at between 18% and 23%.
I contacted the researchers recently and asked for a more recent update. They said they would be updating but have not published anything newer.
I doubt we’ll ever catch up.