Based on a survey reported in the Lancet yesterday with no breakdown of the figures for the 4 devolved NHS services, the Herald gaily reports this a UK-wide phenomenon.
RESEARCHERS have warned that “wide variation” in the spread of Covid in UK hospitals needs further investigation, with a quarter of infected patients in some acute sites contracting the virus after admission during the first wave of the pandemic.
Experts blamed shortages of PPE, a lack of testing capacity, and confusion over Covid symptoms for contributing to higher rates of hospital-acquired conronavirus earlier in the outbreak.https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19510115.one-10-uk-covid-patients-caught-virus-hospital-first-wave/
Only BBC Health reports the story with no links to it for the BBC Scotland or other sites. There is no hint of variations between the nations.
I’ve emailed the lead researcher to ask for a national breakdown. Such requests rarely get answered even.
Only Public Health Scotland publishes the data and it does it weekly, allowing BBC Scotland to report any increases and to ignore any falls:
In reading the above graph, it’s worth knowing that the most recent week’s definitive cases added up to 18 or 0.1% of all infections. 13 758 or 98.6% were picked up in the community before admission to hospital.
So, even at the peak of the first wave in April 2020, it was just over 200 or less than 2%. Note the Herald claim that 1 in 4 or 25% of cases were picked up in some ‘UK’ hospitals at some point in the first wave.
How can we compare the performance of Scottish and other hospitals? Must we just accept as ‘our’ journalists are delighted to do, that things were as bad here?
There are bits and pieces of research which are revealing of a large gap.
In November 2020:
Probable Hospital Acquired infections in England remain persistently high: currently, 17.6% of COVID-19 infections fit the NHS England definition of probable healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). These rates have been as high as 25% in the North West and continue to climb in the North East and Yorkshire.
In February 2021:
Up-to-date figures on hospital onset Covid infections outside of Scotland are difficult to find.
The most recent data we have are from the Nuffield Trust in November 2020 (above) revealing that, by the 14th, 19% of all Covid cases in English hospitals had been acquired after admission.
In April 2021, when definite cases had fallen to almost zero, in Scotland:
So, never above 2% in Scotland, commonly around 10% in England but sometimes far higher in parts, are there calls for ministers to resign there?
Don’t be daft.