BBC Reporting Scotland unable to rule IN a link with Covid outbreaks

Headlining on Reporting Scotland today:

A new report on patients discharged from hospitals into care homes at the start of the pandemic says it can’t rule out a link with Covid outbreaks.

This is the sixth official report, to my knowledge, from such as the ONS and the health services in Scotland, England and Wales, to find no evidence that hospital discharges caused outbreaks in care homes and thus triggered the mass deaths there. The large-scale ONS and MHA studies did, however, suggest a significant role for agency staff moving between the larger (corporate) care homes.

BBC Scotland staff cling to their agenda, blame the SNP, with a desperate claim that the research doesn’t prove the discharges did not cause the outbreaks. Other research has also not proven that Martian care staff or watching BBC Scotland caused the outbreaks either.

What did Lisa Summers have to say?

First, the researchers were asked ‘to investigate any possible links between people who were discharged from hospital and any outbreaks in care homes.’ So, not asked to find out what might have caused the outbreaks with an open mind but to pursue a hunch? Not exactly a credible research method. Yet, still they found no reliable evidence that the discharges had caused the outbreaks? Conclusion? Nothing there, move on.

Second, 5 000 were discharged at the time yet no statistical link could be identified. Why? There were lots of other variables. The size of a care home was more strongly correlated with a higher death rate. Why not investigate that further? Because the larger care homes are the corporate ones run as businesses with a bottom line? Maximum occupancy, minimum costs, failure to invest in PPE and training, reliance on agency staff travelling between sites? Not where BBC Scotland and the opposition parties want the research to go?

At the end Lisa, pleads: ‘there could still be a small effect!’

Pathetic, dishonest, under-educated.

8 thoughts on “BBC Reporting Scotland unable to rule IN a link with Covid outbreaks

  1. BBC Scotland News tweeted that the PHS report says it “cannot rule out a link”. Let’s compare that with what the report actually says, and see what the difference is (using logic) –

    BBC: Cannot rule out a link –> There may be a link –> The link between sending patients to care homes and care home deaths could be any size (including huge, as the opposition mob continue to claim, and are quoted as doing so in the BBC Scotland article.).

    PHS Report: We cannot rule out a small effect –> There may be a link between sending patients to care homes and care home deaths – if such a link exists, it’s a small effect.

    It’s worth reading the PHS report summary at
    and the Full Report, which is linked there.

    You’ll find some extremely interesting conclusions, with the evidence. e.g. they looked into 106 people where the last test for COVID-19 before hospital discharge to a care home was positive.
    For these 106 people: 80 of them were discharged to care homes with an existing outbreak of COVID-19, so the discharge could not have caused the outbreak. 7 were discharged 15 or more days after their first positive test for COVID-19, and would not be considered at risk of onward transmission of infection. 9 people were discharged to care homes which did not experience an outbreak of COVID-19.

    That leaves 10 people, some of whom were analysed further using genomic sequencing, and led to interesting results – see the report.


    1. Indeed.
      “Viral genomic sequencing analysis was only possible for eight hospital discharges where the timing of discharge and outbreak was potentially consistent with the discharge causing introduction of infection. The findings are not consistent with hospital introduction of infection in the care homes examined”

      Yet, “BBC Scotland staff cling to their agenda”, as do all the Opposition parties.

      However tragic and devastating to families the deaths were, key to this strategy by the Opposition and PQ is that SG were incompetent and acted in isolation.
      The elephant in the room is the 4-nations guidance SG were following to the letter.
      There are no Tory, Labour, Liberal or BBC types screaming for heads to roll in Cardiff, Stormont or Westminster, only in Scotland.


    2. And also this:
      “Although care home size is the strongest predictor of care home outbreaks, we do not have data to explore why this is so. Care home size is a marker for the number of non-residents coming into the care home. During COVID-19, this includes staff and professional visitors coming into care homes (and in normal times, also family and friends, although care homes were largely closed to family and friends during the period examined).”

      Thanks for the link GSG – very interesting report.


  2. Today’s BBC Scotland coverage of this report – both on the BBC News website and Reporting Scotland – should be archived and used time and again in media/journalism studies as an example of blatant negative framing and obfuscation to conform to a pre-determined, political agenda-based message to be given to readers and viewers.

    The text on the BBC News website written by Robert Cuffe, BBC’s Head of Statistics was IMHO a classic example of trying hard to hold a position between providing an expert, objective assessment of what the published report actually stated – his job? – and an acceptable, approved editorial line.


    1. Excellent examples Stewart, the reasoned and constructive approach of elected members in the Senedd would be a most welcome change in Holyrood to the endless opposition mudslinging and blatant lies, particularly on this subject.

      As to Scottish media in general and Pacific Quay in particular, the Welsh comparison could equally well apply – In Wales they reflect public opinion and inform, in Scotland they try to form public opinion to replace what the public “know”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My apologies, this should have been in reply to your earlier comment on “Care homes that received discharges…”


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