Headlining at 6:00am and repeated every 30 minutes or so, across the UK news, full of dramatic claims of a system in crisis and a clear indication that this is happening ‘across the length and breadth of the UK.’
This report comes from the College of Paramedics (No ‘Royal?’), a trade union, and offers of course, no data. The story is not even on their own website!
The BBC interviews one person and an anonymous paramedic.
Notably, neither in their broadcast nor on the website, BBC Scotland don’t seem to know about these developments:
BBC 1 Breakfast only have images from one health trust in the south and anecdotes from a trade union, but are pushing it hard on their website too.
That this is the same ‘across the length and breadth of the UK‘ is not plausible. Differences in staffing and beds per head of population and of course, wildly differing waiting times tell us it cannot be. Parts of NHS Scotland are no doubt under heavy pressure but the overall figures deny a nation-wide crisis.
First, A&E waiting times:
In Scotland during September 2021, 76.1% of attendances at A&E services were seen and resulted in a subsequent admission, transfer or discharge within 4 hours.
In September 2021, NHS England A&E departments saw 64% within 4 hours
In September 2021, NHS Wales A&E departments saw 66.8% within 4 hours
The Northern Ireland figures have been delayed to 12 November but in June, only 59.7% were seen within 4 hours.
These are big differences when you remember they mean thousands more patients being seen on time on Scotland than they would have in the rest of the UK/
Second, availability of beds:
In England, there are 415 people for every bed but in Scotland, only 265 for every bed. So, Scotland has almost twice as many hospital beds per head of population than England and Northern Ireland and significantly more than Wales.
Scotland has 50% more nurses, per head of population, in the first than NHS England. The current vacancy rate for nurses in England, is 10.3%, 30% higher than in Scotland.
Fourth, GPs and consultants:
According to the latest available published information, the number of hospital consultants in Scotland per 100,000 population is 101 WTE (whole or full-time equivalent), compared to 86 WTE in England and 81 WTE in Wales. According to the latest available published information, the number of GP’s in Scotland per 100,000 population is 92 (headcount), compared to 73 (headcount) in England and 70 (headcount) in Wales.