BBC England obscures ambulance ‘crisis’

When BBC Scotland report health waiting times, they rarely if ever, offer comparative data from the other 3 nations in the UK. Scotland has, of course, the best results in the UK.

When BBC England reported on ambulance waiting times, they were careful to add:

In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the 999 system is also under “tremendous pressure”, doctors say.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-61335711

Oh, so things are equally bad everywhere suggesting that the UK Government is doing as well as the others? The report makes no attempt to compare like-for-like data.

They rely on:

BBC News has spoken to patients in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who have experienced similarly long waits:

However:

For the most urgent incidents, the average for March 2022, in England, was 9 minutes and 35 seconds. The median for the same group in Scotland was 7 minutes and 4 seconds and in Wales the average was 7 minutes and 50 seconds. I can’t find the data for Northern Ireland.

Sources:

https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/resource/ambulance-response-times#background

https://www.scottishambulance.com/publications/unscheduled-care-operational-statistics/

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/welsh-nhs-described-broken-waiting-23742320

18 thoughts on “BBC England obscures ambulance ‘crisis’

  1. Of course as a footnote the BBC invite patients who have experience of long wait times to get in touch. Obviously not interested in cases of exceptionally good response times.
    No need to provide balance in reporting individual case studies.
    Welcome to modern day MSM.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Crisis
      Has ever a Westminster Government confronted so many crises , albeit mostly of their own making and arising almost daily
      Leading economists and social scientists have been issuing constant warnings over the past 14 yrs as to where their policies would
      Undoubtedly lead to
      And in no particular order
      I list the mains ones , and any with simple wisdom or common sense need no explanation that these are firmly embedded into a archaic perverse system of government, as for Scotland concerned only possible solution is Independence and as a matter of the utmost urgency
      For England the highly likely solution might just be Civil War 2
      1.Economic
      2.Inflation
      3.Pathetic continual poor productivity
      4.Energy China and EDF about to pull out of Nuclear power station build
      5.Balance of Trade,exports collapsing
      6.State borrowing level unsustainable as interest rates rise
      7.£ now being trashed on currency markets- lost 10 % of value to $ in 5 weeks,slide continues
      8.NHS can never catch up
      With backlog
      9.Higher education incapable of producing enough graduates reqd.in vital sectors
      10.Very poor skill base of workforce
      11.QE no longer possible as debt to much if used to plug holes.Only possible if serious investment to increase productivity
      12.Very difficult to borrow money on International market
      13.Housing
      14.Social care
      15.The delusional attempt to maintain military spending in order to keep place in global affairs
      16.N.I. Protocol impossible to resolve, a enigma within a puzzle,invoke article 16 and it is game over
      17.Clean air and water
      18.Meeting climate change targets.Add co2 to UK imports and you in big big trouble
      The list goes on and on,and like all such scenarios these problems now have a life of their own and a ever increasing Domino effect
      Expodentiously growing in frequency and ferocity
      But such is very typical of Empires that come to a end and most likely implode
      For just one moment put yourselves in the minds and shoes of the higher echelons of UK decision making and society and then it is off little wonder that they are now all corrupt,criminal,self enriching , cheating and lying
      The French invented the guillotine to resolve this very situation
      Most other nations have Military coups to try to sort it
      So in conclusion how on earth can England resolve this without great pain,chaos and serious civil disorder
      Now answer that Better Together
      Suicide is not a option for Scotland

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Any chance of an article comparing to ferry debacle to the destroyer debacle?

    2 ferries in Port Glasgow running late and over budget set against 6 destroyers tied up in Portsmouth awaiting new propulsion systems.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. And to add to the list
      1.Trident sub in dry dock for yrs now with cracked reactor
      2.New Armoured Personnel Carrier a complete and utter disaster
      3.Trident replacement null and void in 2045 as Lockheed Martin enter new nuclear interphase of US nuclear strategy
      And will terminate all work
      On Trident
      But Westminster ploughs ahead
      4.RAF & RN
      F35 joint strike stealth fighter, Capable flying hrs drastically cut, horrendous
      Maintenance costs. Constant ongoing hideously expensive upgrades required
      It is a dripping roast of profit for Lockheed Martin and its main US based supply chain
      US Cleverly selling to others in order to subsidise their own Budgets

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Several months ago, the Telegraph gave out news that half of the Royal Navy’s major surface fleet was tied up for repair.
      I tried to get a letter into the Herald on that (and other matters), but failed.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. ‘Oh, so things are equally bad everywhere suggesting that the UK Government is doing as well as the others?’

    There is one additional characteristic in the pattern of such BBC News coverage. It was evident in several occasions on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning when talking about ambulance response times. It is also evident in the BBC News website article referred to in the blog post above.

    After making a point about ‘England’ and then tarring the other nations (almost casually sometimes) with the same brush, the BBC then reports: (i) ONLY a Westminster source giving an explanation of why the problem situation in England pertains, and/or (ii) a mitigation measure (often a big cash sum) relating ONLY to England.

    I sometimes wonder if for some consumers of BBC output this sort of thing can be regarded as subliminal messaging?

    So we are told there are ‘problems’ in all UK nations but only told of Westminster’s efforts to resolve them. Isn’t Westminster government wonderful? Better together!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The figures for ambulance waiting times in England are out today. Thus the sudden interest in ambulance waiting times in Scotland over the last two days or so. Start the story running about Scotland as a distraction from the often very much worse situation in England.

    If this clogs up your post John then just delete it.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. So essentially London or the Scotland Office give HMS James Cook and Lisa Summers in particular a 2 day start on NOT reporting a story, with a bonus for rustling up yet another diversion for Scottish audiences before the news breaks whilst advancing the ruse in England about Adolf Sturgeon screwing up again ?
      Yep, sounds about right.

      Like

  5. Several months ago, the Telegraph gave out news that half of the Royal Navy’s major surface fleet was tied up for repair.
    I tried to get a letter into the Herald on that (and other matters), but failed.

    Like

  6. The BBC is not a news vendor, but a State propaganda outlet.
    There is no chance of accurate reportage, with context, perspective, named sources, honesty, journalistic independence and proper attribution, relative to the nations of the UK.
    This is all about news management.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. O/T Picking up on btl comments above concerning the Ferguson ferries and comparing this situation to MoD/Royal Navy fleet management:

    Source: House of Commons Defence Committee (7 December, 2021) “We’re going to need a bigger Navy (https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/8205/documents/85026/default/)

    Para 128. ‘The low availability of the UK’s Type 45 destroyers and recognised issues in their propulsion systems are a major cause for concern. The destroyers cannot do their job or effectively deter adversaries if only half, and sometimes only one, of the six ships is available for operations at any time.

    ‘The PIP(Power Improvement Project) that is intended to improve this situation is scheduled for completion in 2028 but there are indications that TIMELINES MAY BE SLIPPING. We find it EXTRAORDINARY that the Navy is prepared to WAIT SEVEN YEARS TO FULLY REPAIR THESE £1 BILLION DESTROYERS, which are arguably the most powerful units in the surface fleet after the aircraft carriers.’ (my emphasis)

    Para 127. ‘Reporting (by the MoD) of (warship) availability must improve to AVOID CONCEALING ISSUES with the availability of specific classes of vessel.’

    And as someone earlier noted, it seems matters have become even worse, with all six of the RN’s destroyers currently not in service.

    Source: Evening Standard (7 February 2022) ‘All six Royal Navy destroyers in port for engine repairs amid heightened tensions with Russia – The Defence Select Committee warned in December 2021 that availability of the ships was a ‘major cause for concern’

    ‘All six of the Royal Navy’s state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers are currently docked in port, at a time of heightened tensions with Russia.’

    Like

    1. stewartb
      Even if and when these Destroyers were fit for purpose of which the main one is to protect the 2 carriers, one of which was solely built for deployment in the S.China Sea and all at the behest of the US
      But mass Hypersonics as China has land based Df 21 with a range of 1200 mls. hypersonic missiles to which no Western carrier or Warship has any defence whatsoever,and to add to the woes China test fired last week a completely new hypersonic Df 25 with a range of 180 Mls. from the most lethal powerful warship ever to take to the high seas
      The D055 destroyer
      Far less the 2nd generation hypersonic missiles well in advanced stages of final tests and deployment, with greater speed and accuracy with excellent command/ control in seek and destroy targets with highly efficient AI computing which enables phenomenal maneuverability , all brought about by use of a wind tunnel that enabled them to develop new materials for coating the hypersonic missile and associated computing.The US has still to successfully deploy 1st generation Hypersonics
      So in essence and as far as China concerned then attacking with canoes might just be more cost effective
      And The Ajax armoured personnel carrier might have to be scrapped after £ 2.3 Billion spend as the major problems of excessive horrendous vibrations and noise make it impossible for crew and personnel to function properly

      Like

    2. Staying way O/T and continuing with this theme of putting the mess of the public procurement of two ferries into some sort of perspective!

      The Westminster government’s – and specifically the MoD’s – track record over procurement is woeful, as many reports by the National Audit Office (NAO) make clear. The following should – but of course won’t – provide further useful perspective for journalists who persist in pushing the Scottish Government’s procurement of two ferries as the most heinous and inexplicable of matters.

      Source: NAO (21 Feb. 2022) The Equipment Plan 2021 to 2031
      Ministry of Defence (https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/The-Equipment-Plan-2021-2031.pdf )

      ‘Cost estimates
      Para 11 … The Department’s Cost Assurance and Analysis Service (CAAS) produced an independent assessment of the cost of projects making up 58% of the Plan’s costs this year. It concluded that THESE PROJECTS ARE LIKELY TO COST £7.6 BILLION MORE THAN THE PLAN ASSUMES.’

      ‘Para 13 The Plan also still includes large adjustments to anticipate future delays in the delivery of equipment. … This year these adjustments are £12 billion, compared with £10 billion in the 2020 Plan, … We have been critical of THE LACK OF EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THESE ADJUSTMENTS and expressed concerns that they were being used to make the Plan seem more affordable.’

      ‘Improving the Plan
      Para 18 The WEAKNESSES IN COST ESTIMATING, OVER-OPTIMISM ABOUT BUDGET AND COST ASSUMPTIONS and a focus on the short term which we describe above HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT FINDINGS IN OUR EQUIPMENT PLAN REPORTS OVER MANY YEARS.’

      ‘As we have shown in these reports, together THESE ISSUES HAVE RESULTED, IN ADDITION TO THE HIGH AFFORDABILITY RISKS, IN ADVERSE OUTCOMES FOR EQUIPMENT CAPABILITY AND VALUE FOR MONEY. To break the pattern, the Department needs to have in place arrangements and capabilities which have previously been absent or incomplete.’

      And firstly for background: ‘To support the government’s policy of submarine-based nuclear deterrence, the Department manages a network of programmes, equipment, and people, often referred to as the Nuclear Enterprise. Within this, there are a number of large projects which are included in the Equipment Plan (the Plan) AMOUNTING TO £60 BILLION, OR MORE THAN ONE QUARTER OF ITS VALUE.’

      And then the NAO’s findings: ‘In the last year alone, its 10-year FORECAST OF NUCLEAR PROJECT COSTS IN THE PLAN HAS INCREASED BY £16 BILLION FOR SEVERAL REASONS INCLUDING UNEXPECTED COST GROWTH. In its review of the Plan this year, the Cost Analysis and Assurance Service concluded that the Department had under-forecast nuclear project costs by £4.8 billion …’

      Finally: ‘Our three audits on the Nuclear Enterprise carried out between 2018 and 2020 showed that management decisions and other weaknesses contributed to cost uncertainty. …
      • Infrastructure management – CONSTRUCTION STARTED BEFORE REQUIREMENTS OR DESIGNS WERE CLEAR, leading to UNEXPECTED COSTS OF £650 MILLION across a number of sites.

      • Contract management – DELAYS IN IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS SUCH AS A LACK OF POOR SUB-CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE AND MANAGEMENT LED TO AN UNEXPECTED COST INCREASE OF £352 MILLION. Further delays in the defueling facility project because of commercial and technical issues LED TO AN UNEXPECTED £100 MILLION INCREASE.

      • Managing interdependencies- TO EXTRACT SMALL SAVINGS THE DEPARTMENT HAS CREATED EXPENSIVE DELAYS IN OTHER AREAS.

      • Skill gaps- The Nuclear Enterprise suffers from a series of skill gaps in key areas, not least contract management, commercial and project management, and technical expertise, for example around design and nuclear regulation. We found that THESE GAPS WERE AT THE ROOT OF MANY OF THE PROBLEMS AND MISTAKES WE IDENTIFIED.

      Just imagine press/BBC Scotland reaction if Audit Scotland wrote in these terms about the Scottish Government’s performance! Note the scale of the sums of money involved – and recall that just because defence is reserved, the financial issues here are just as relevant to tax payers and voters in Scotland (and Wales and NI) as they are to those in England. Around 10% of all these sums will be allocated to Scotland – spent on ‘our behalf’ – by a Tory government a majority in Scotland rejected.

      Liked by 2 people

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