Shameful politicising of best emergency services in UK

In Midwinter, week-ending 9th January 2022, NHS Scotland’s A&E department’s saw 67.4% of attendances in 4 hours, down from 71.6% in the previous week.

It is a sign of pressure on the service but it’s important always to put these figures in perspective.

A direct comparison with other UK services is not possible for the above week because NHS England and Wales only report monthly and Northern Ireland reports quarterly.

So, in December 2021, NHS England saw 61.2% in 4 hours. NHS Scotland saw 73.52%.

In Wales, 67.63% were seen in 4 hours in November 2021. No more recent data are yet available

Northern Ireland’s health boards only report on A&E waiting times quarterly. They haven’t reported on October to December yet but in July to September 2021, they only managed 54.4% in 4 hours. The winter performance does not bear thinking about.

NHS Scotland is streets quicker.

Sources:

https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/nhs-performs-weekly-update-of-emergency-department-activity-and-waiting-time-statistics/nhs-performs-weekly-update-of-emergency-department-activity-and-waiting-time-statistics-week-ending-9-january-2022/

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/

https://gov.wales/nhs-activity-and-performance-summary-dashboard

https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/health/hs-niwts-ecwt-interactive-q2-21-22.html

5 thoughts on “Shameful politicising of best emergency services in UK

  1. Something for my elderly unionist neighbours to complain about, again. Tut tut. SNP bad.
    Notice the BritNat state and their dodgy media concentrate on devolved powers to attack the SNP ScotGov. SNP need to make sure to attack the EngGov (cabal) on powers reserved because that’s where the real problems lie for Scotland.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I looked at Tom Gordons piece in the Herald earlier. It would be hard to describe it as anything but a list of opposition parties views, compiled by Tom and dressed up as something new, sensational and topical in order to get paid again.

    But again, as Prof. John says, there is no given context to try and give a hint of any serious journalism, instead we get the all too expected vitriol from Tory Dr Sandesh Gulhane, Labour Jackie Baillie and then Lib Dem Alex Cole-Hamilton.

    That said, I suppose its not meant to be serious journalism in order to satisfy the SiU and Associated Ranters for their disgusting comments and their “up ticking” of each other! Well at least the Herald will gain some meagre income from the resulting advertising hits 🙂

    Aye, that’s the Herald 2022. It does seem such a far cry from that trusted journalism that the Herald wanted us to buy into not so very long ago!.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. With remote working becoming the norm many positions in Scotland are becoming very attractive to many south of the Border that have seen Finance sector coy’s moving to Dublin and elsewhere as a consequence of Brexit. So I look upon these headlines more positively in that the more Brit nats feel Scotland’s A&E, SNHS and the country in general is in meltdown the less likely they will either consider a move North or even remain here. We must be careful not to ‘Talk up Scotland’ too much in case these ‘unfortunates’ start to realise how much Scotland is being mis-represented in the MSM. Those that are here will soon have their eyes opened once we get a ‘Start date’ for Indy2 and begin canvassing till then ‘Mums the word’ folks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I confess, sometimes when I read comments about how poor/incompetent/place your own insult here I’m torn between wanting to correct them and staying quiet so they’ll carry on saying they’d be well shot of us. Hm. Decisions, decisions…

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  4. The latest overall A&E waiting times performance statistic against the 4-hour standard in Scotland is disappointing. It is less poor than the latest for NHS England but its still poorer than one would have hoped/wished for.

    Intuitively, it seems to me (a non-expert in this field) that the variability in this statistic both across Scotland in any given week and between hospitals/ Boards over relatively short periods of time merits closer analysis than opposition politicians or the corporate media deploy when issuing their ‘scandal’ cries. Candidly, this variability merits closer analysis and explanation than NHS Scotland or the Scottish Government put into the public domain. From ‘rough’ inspection, it seems that substantial changes in performance can occur without always commensurate, large changes in number of attendances.

    Digging into the data seemingly odd details are apparent. As an example, Monklands Hospital (NHS Lanarkshire) has recorded performances against this 4-hour standard of 91% falling to presently 61.2% over a 3 week period. The weekly attendances at A&E have risen by 142 over the same period. But the most recent number of attendances, at 1,087 for the week, is the second lowest since 14 March 2021. The performance of 61.2% against the 4-hour target has never been lower during the past 12 months, even when attendances have been higher than at present.

    There must be another factor/s involved. One cause of the poorer performance at the Scotland level according to the Cabinet Secretary for Health is staff absences. But given the variability in the waiting times performance across Scotland one would want to know how A&E staff absences vary across NHS Scotland. Is there a correlation, is there good evidence of causation? What about local staff morale, staff exhaustion, local leadership?

    Notably, A&E in NHS Tayside continues to deliver performances above 90% against the 4-hour target. Does it have especially low staff absence levels? Might all this variability suggest something more or different from a national system failure?

    The BBC News website’s Scotland page tells us today that: ‘The Scottish government’s target of 95% of patients being admitted to the hospital, transferred or discharged within four hours has not been met since July 2020.’

    According to the Nuffield Trust and its article ‘Chart of the week: The rise of over four-hour A&E waits across the UK’ published on 15 September, 2021 the last time NHS England met the 95% target was August 2014.

    According to NHS England’s latest statistical commentary on A&E performance, the 95% standard – even for ‘all’ its A&E departments in England, not just its Type 1 (main) sites – was last met in July 2015.

    And yet the BBC News website’s Scotland page chooses to amplify, without perspective or challenge, this from Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane. He called the statistics a “shameful indictment” of Health Secretary Humza Yousaf’s stewardship of Scotland’s NHS. What would he say about his party’s stewardship of NHS England and its A&E provision?

    By the way, if the BBC was to report the latest statistics for A&E in Scotland using the method it applied recently to the last NHS England performance data release – namely reporting the performance of ‘all’ sites and NOT for the Type 1 (or main) departments – the percentage for Scotland would be 75.9%!

    Liked by 4 people

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