Stillbirth: The measure of a nation’s health

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?

Well:

In 2019, around 1 in 255 births resulted in a stillbirth in England and Wales, and it was around 1 in 302 in Scotland

https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/news-item/stillbirths-and-other-adverse-outcomes-for-babies-in-britain-during-the-pandemic

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.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/oct/04/fears-for-mothers-and-babies-covid-19-health-visitor-crisis-mental-health-breastfeeding-england

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?

3 thoughts on “Stillbirth: The measure of a nation’s health

  1. Years of progress doomed to be dashed on the alter of gender ideology, which rejects biological reality, cognitive linguistics, and the principles of universal practical reason, a.k.a. Natural law. Insisting humans can change sex is as irrational as claiming Britain is one nation, so whoever sold the woo woo the our government, is probably laughing their male appendage off.

    Envisioning the Possibilities for a Good Life:
    Exploring the Public Policy Implications
    of Intersectionality Theory
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1300/J501v28n03_08

    Like

  2. Gender ideology privileges the performative over the real, which articulates the very essence of the neo-liberal ethos. British nationalism also privileges the performative over the real. If we can’t break free from neo-liberal government, there is no hope of a good life for the majority, or a sustainable future for humanity.

    Intersectionality as a Regulative Ideal
    https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/ergo/12405314.0006.044?view=text;rgn=main

    Like

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