The Herald’s rotten cherry picking and politicising of the NHS

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Here’s the Herald, today, picking out one hospital and selecting one or two cases from hundreds to imply a wider crisis and, as only the Scottish media do, putting a politician in the frame.

Remember the Herald’s claim?

This falls well short of ‘trusted’ or ‘quality.’

What are readers to make of A&E in their area from such selective sensationalism? Don’t go? Take a chance?

Here’s a more useful, informative and trusted piece of information:

In July 2021 (most recent comparable data) NHS Scotland saw 80% in 4 hours or less, compared to only 67% in NHS England. Some Welsh hospitals were struggling to hit 50%. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde saw 84.1% in 4 hours.

If you want to pick out one hospital, how about NHS Tayside’s A&E department which saw 97.5% in 4 hours or less and which over a longer term is easily the UK’s best performing large A&E department, outside the wee rural ones like Orkney. No one ever sees fit to tell us about NHS Tayside unless they can fake a scare story.

As for the framing of the story around an image of the First Minister, connecting her directly with the selected evidence, this done only in Scotland.

In NHS Wales, there have been 3 recent cases of patients dying as they awaited an ambulance. BBC Wales has not once linked the stories to the Health Secretary there. No one is likely to even know her name there.

In April and May 2021, there were 8 deaths through malpractice in a Blackpool hospital and a report of patient safety secret reports being ‘buried’ by doctors in several hospitals. The then Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, did not feature in any BBC England reports.

This demonising of SNP politicians by Scotland’s media goes back through Humza Yousaf, Jeanne Freeman, Shona Robison and all the way back to Alex Salmond in 2014.

11 thoughts on “The Herald’s rotten cherry picking and politicising of the NHS

  1. STV did a similarly unrepresentative hatchet job on the Scottish NHS yesterday by implying that the situation at one A&E in Lanarkshire was the same country wide .

    They had ”exclusive” access to an A&E which , according to them , was at ” breaking point” as it was overwhelmed . In the pictures broadcast there were lots of staff shown going about their business , more than half-a-dozen standing around a desk in one shot , but no obvious signs of overwhelming numbers of patients – in fact none !
    And it often strikes me in these exclusives given to STV and , particularly the BBC , if the staff are so ”overwhelmed” , why are so many of them available to speak to camera while around them there appears to be no panic , confusion or chaos , which is what the reports try to suggest ?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I was seen and sorted in 1 hour at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary A&E last Sunday. Very busy but very efficient. Great staff. Humza doing a grand job!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, come on. From one extreme to the other. ERI A&E staff did a great job. Humza, fortunately for you, wasn’t involved in your treatment.


      1. You’re missing the point, which is that the Health Minister is being being held responsible for all NHS problems. It is only fair therefore that he should be praised when things are going right.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It is also an example of the philosophical fallacy: “generalising from a particular”. This is one of the cynical ploys used by student politicians (and it continues into some professional politicians (such as Alex Cole Hamilton, or Anas Sarwar, or most egregiously by Jackie Baillie) and by many journalists, to imply that this specific case is the norm for all cases.

    Its close neighbour, ‘the perfectionist fallacy’ is sometimes deployed at the same time – if ONE aspect turns out to be inadequate, then ALL must be inadequate.

    Often, this is preceded by, “Ah but, this could just be the ‘tip of an iceberg’. Who’s to say?”

    This is usually accompanied by a predilection to ham acting and showing anger, annoyance, horror, etc, at the drop of a hat and switching to another faux emotion as required.

    I decided years ago that many politicians and study PPE (Politics, PHILOSOPHY and Economics) so that they can learn all of the philosophical fallacies and to deploy them in debate or in articles. That is what the ‘turor/seminar’ system inculcates as well as a sense of smug superiority and entitlement with clear disdain for the feelings of others, indeed, any empathy they might have had has been removed by boarding schools, being raised by nannies, etc.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The Herald newspaper would do well to consider the fate of its sister ship Herald of Free Enterprise . It foundered as a result of careless closing of how doors leading to ingress of seawater . Our paper version threatens to go under as a result of ingress of unionist bilge water .

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hundred of thousands use the heath service every day. They know the MSM is not reporting accurately. These reports are inadequate. They are not a majority experience. Most people know the Press is ill reporting and lying. That is why few buy it or read it.

    People can get and exchange information on the internet. There is high satisfaction with the NHS. People are in awe of it and really support and appreciate it. The non Dom tax evading owners have nothing to report about their greedy tax evading activities. Lying criminal hypocrites. Killing and maiming, and impoverishing people worldwide.


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