Today, as ‘our’ media scramble excitedly over misunderstood Covid infection data, The Guardian suggests that England might learn from Sweden.
There’s no mention of Scotland. Why would there be? Aren’t the Jocks the sick men of Europe?
So, in country with shorter overall life expectancy and much background poverty after decades of London-rule, stillbirth is 18% more common in England and Wales.
How has this happened?
From a Labour Party freedom of information request, reported in the Guardian
Health visitors look after health and development from birth until the age of five. Last year, there were 6,931 full-time equivalent health visitors in England, a drop of 3,378 since the peak of 10,309 in October 2015, figures from Labour showed.
From NHS Scotland in 2019 (latest figures):
England has ten times the population but only 4 times the health visitor staffing (6 931 divided by 1 623) so Scotland has more than twice as many per head of population.
‘Scotland, for example, has the smallest number of children living in poverty among the constituent nations of the UK, the lowest prevalence of low pay and far more young people from deprived areas going on to higher education.’ (iv)
Second on NHS Scotland:
‘Out of all the four nations, hospitals in Scotland seem [seem?] to have fared the best. Weekly data shows four-hour performance in major units hovering around the 90% mark during January.
So, who gets the credit for this? Have years of progressive social policies implemented by the SNP helped in anyway do you think? Are the UK figures lagging due to Tory austerity measures?