Jackie Baillie reveals Scotland’s ambulance service far far better than in other parts of UK

The above is a masterpiece of distortions, fed to Reporting Scotland by Scottish Labour’s Jackie Baillie.

The truth is actually there in the text.


The Scottish Ambulance Service instituted a colour-coded response system in 2016. These deemed purple cases to be the most severe – where there is a 10% or more chance of cardiac arrest.

Under the bizarre heading ‘Lives being risked’, we see:

In 2020-21, 10,687 purple cases were seen in under 10 minutes, compared with 8,304 in 2018-19.

So, 25% more of the most at risk, ‘purple cases’ were seen in under ten minutes in 2020/2021 compared to two years before and saving lives but, as planned, more of the less at risk took longer?

That was the plan.

It has worked?

What on earth is Jackie Baillie on about?

This is a stupid or deliberate misunderstanding of a development launched in 2016 which even in 2018 had already begun to save lives. Then, as now, Scotland’s media chose to misrepresent success as failure:

A new system of prioritising the sickest patients, even though that may lengthen waits for less urgent cases, has massively improved survival rates for cardiac arrest patients. According to a spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service:

‘We have changed the way we respond to calls and are now deliberately prioritising the sickest, most seriously ill patients in Scotland. As a result, we have almost doubled survival rates for cardiac arrest patients since 2013. For less urgent cases, our call handlers now spend more time understanding patient’s clinical needs to ensure we send the right, not necessarily the nearest resource. The result has been slightly longer response times for patients whose lives are not immediately at risk – but consequently, last year we saved the lives of an additional 62 patients who had suffered an out of hospital cardiac arrest.’

Contrast this shockingly politicised misrepresentation of a health matter with that of BBC Wales:

From BBC Wales this morning:

As lockdown restrictions have eased ambulance staff are having the busiest summer of their lives.

Some have said they were “broken” by spending so much time queuing outside A&Es unable to respond to new calls.

According to them, it has been the busiest period in their careers.

BBC Wales’ health correspondent Owain Clarke has been given special access to crews, call managers and senior paramedics.

The health secretary/minister for Wales is not asked to explain this. They’re certainly not accused of any failure by opposition parties or asked to resign. They’re not mentioned at all. Do the people of Wales know who they are?

They don’t get a mention nor do opposition politicians in these earlier reports suggesting a crisis is building in Wales, unreported as such by BBC Wales:

On July 27th and today, 29th, only two days later, we read of two incidents of failure leading to unnecessary deaths after delays by ambulances, reported by BBC Wales.

Astonishingly, neither report mentions that current Welsh Minister for Health is Eluned Morgan MS.

Welsh Ambulance operations director, Lee Brooks, is mentioned:

Lee Brooks, director of operations at the Welsh Ambulance Service
Nope, me neither.

Actually, there are no calls for him to go. The opposition parties in Wales seem to have nothing to say and he just says he’s sorry.

Contrast this with the media profile of Humza Yousaf if so much as paper clips go missing from an NHS office.

AND, it’s not even the first time. In 2019:

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Then, Jason Killens, chief executive:

“We are sorry that our response took longer than we would have liked on this occasion. “Lengthy waits for an ambulance are a sign of pressures across the whole unscheduled care system, not just in Wales but across the UK

And BBC England?

9 thoughts on “Jackie Baillie reveals Scotland’s ambulance service far far better than in other parts of UK

  1. The “Scottish” media and the “Scottish” Brit Nat parties now feed off each other–egging each other on, to greater and greater feats of absurdity, and bigger and bigger exaggerations, lies and distortions.

    I doubt if this can be fixed.
    Addiction to hucksterism– truth and the “public good” a casualty.
    The decline in newspaper sales is in parallel to the decline in honest, responsible politicking from the opposition.

    We can laugh at the antics of Baillie, DRoss, Rennie, Starwars, Cauld-Ham, Wells el al—–but just because they are a joke, doesn’t make them funny!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Aye John, as has been highlighted on this blog on umpteen occasions, Jackie Baillie’s mandate is to cause the maximum ruckus for SG and BBC Scotland’s to amplify it, as does Juan Kerr in parallel.
    I seriously question whether her electorate view this is constructive participation in governance by way of that well worn bullshit “holding government to account”.

    This is not politics as it used to be in Scotland, it’s become a pissing contest involving Labour, Tory and Liberal politicians, the BBC and the majority media in Scotland against the majority elected by the people of Scotland, exampled time and again by comparison with BBC Wales where it simply does not occur to them to play the “What about Millie May?” card.
    It’s only a matter of time before Jackie retires from being an enema of the Scottish state, perma-angry Juan Kerr may require sedation.. Other 4 by 2s are available.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What have Labour politicians had to say about this from the Nuffield Trust on NHS England’s performance in June-July 2021? (See: https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/news-item/nhs-performance-summary-june-july-2021 )

    ‘In July 2021, over one in five people (22%) attending A&E spent more than four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge, THE WORST PERFORMANCE SINCE RECORDS BEGAN.’ (my emphasis)

    And: ’89,768 patients spent more than four hours waiting on a trolley from a decision to admit to admission in July 2021, the HIGHEST number for any July SINCE RECORDS BEGAN. 2,215 people had a trolley wait of over 12 hours.’

    On ambulances: ‘In July 2021, the average response time for Category 1 (life-threatening) ambulance incidents increased to 8 minutes 33 seconds, alongside an increase in the number of Category 1 incidents to 81,865, 58% HIGHER THAN IN JULY 2020.’

    ‘The average response time for Category 2 (emergency) calls increased to 41 minutes 4 seconds in July 2021, OVER 20 MINUTES LONGER than the target response time of 18 minutes.’

    What was England’s Health Secretary’s response to these ‘bad’ figures? To be ‘fair’, the BBC News website’s ‘health’ page today does report further ‘difficult’ performance stats for NHS England – with a picture of England’s Health Secretary to the fore. We learn:

    ‘A record number of people – more than 5.45 million – are waiting for NHS hospital treatment in England’ and ‘The number waiting to start treatment is the HIGHEST IT HAS BEEN SINCE RECORDS BEGAN in August 2007’ and ‘Ambulances across England ….. waiting times were the LONGEST since a new way of logging calls was introduced in 2017.’

    However, in this article the BBC’s health editor Hugh Pym seems to show understanding as he writes: ‘Most hospitals are doing all they can to reduce the number of long waits for operations.’ (By the way, no sign of political opposition comment in the article!)

    And notably the BBC reporting of these latest poor data for NHS England helpfully(!) provides readers with perspective noting: ‘The issue is rising rapidly up the political agenda. Growing waiting lists are also evident in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.’

    So the BBC knows how to insert ‘perspective’ when it wishes! How often does BBC Scotland provide similar, qualifying insight from other parts of the UK in its reporting?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. “the BBC knows how to insert “perspective””.

      No, BBC Hootsdmon personnel think “perspective” is the sheet of see-through plastic, so they can read their scripts, written for them in London.

      If you ever require a brain transplant, get one from a BBC Hootsmon “journalist”, as it will be in pristine nick, seldom ever used to think with.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “ Growing waiting lists are also evident in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.” sounds more like a line Pym puts in his reports to cast similar aspersions, implying that “they’re no better than England”.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a feeling as we progress towards Indy BBC Scotland will literally lose their shit and stuff the news with even more blatantly obvious lies. We’ll take the fight right back to them, they will give so many examples of working for their Tory master’s in London the whole house of BBC cards will come crashing down. Too many people in Scotland are aware of their antic’s and it will probably be counter productive to them now. Any right minded undecided voters will take one look at them and decide against the North Korea style output and vote for a democracy again in Scotland!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The NHS and ambulances saving lives every day. The worthless politicians attacking these magnificent services all the time. That will not be appreciated. The corrupt politicians have nothing to gain but criticism and derision. The healthcare services protect people and their lives. The corrupt lying politicians kill them.

    Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Trident a complete waste of monies. Killing people, worldwide.

    If people are sick in need in an emergency. They can get a lift or take a taxi. Or even call the Police for attendance. To get there sooner and as quickly as possible. Deaths are caused when there are additional underlying circumstances. Instead of waiting too long. There are now emergency paramedic services, So help can be dispatched and arrive as quickly as possible, even before ambulances. To help before the ambulances get there. That is saving lives.

    The paramedic services quick response vehicles can be see positioned at strategic positions waiting for call outs. Paramedic quick response vehicles. Some organisation strategy was considered to get the fire service personal out on motor cycle vehicles as quick responders. They are trained in live saving methods. Paramedics.

    There are much less fires in the community. Less coal fires and increased smoke alarms. Legislation. Less chip pans. People are smoking and drinking less . Health considerations. There are less fire deaths by comparison, Changing circumstances. Prevention is better than cure,

    The ambulance services does a magnificent job. It could be even better with Independence. More funds devoted to the Healthcare services, education, pensions and life style choices. Instead of being wasted by Westminster unionist sycophants. Totally useless unionist parties and their mouthpieces.

    There are more call outs in a pandemic. Services are stretched. but coping by all accounts. That is why there are strict guidelines and rule to be followed. Instead of trying to make political gain. Corrupt politicians should give it a rest. People can see through it and discredit it. There is nothing to gain by attacking essential services. There is room for improvement and guidance where appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

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