In the Herald today:
AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into a “very unusual” spike in deaths among newborn babies in Scotland for the second time in just six months.
The alarm was raised after 18 infants died within four weeks of birth in March, causing the mortality rate to breach an upper warning threshold known as the ‘control limit’ which signals a potential problem.https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/20137268.investigation-launched-amid-second-unusual-spike-neonatal-deaths-scotland/
In particular we read for late 2021 and early 2022:
In July 2020, we read:
for this data:
Note that in 2017 when there was no pandemic, it twice reached more than 6 per 1000, approached 6 in 2020 with monthly fluctuation. These turned out not to be spikes revealing anything because monthly data like the above and based on very low levels, do not reveal a trend worth reporting.
Now, we have two months in late 2021 and early 2022, separated by 5 months of lower figures and McCardle offers the Herald another unsubstantiated scare story to headline.
The report, of course does not tell us that stillbirth in England and Wales was 55% higher, in 2020, than in Scotland:
or that Scotland has twice as many health visitors pro rata to help keep that level down:
Herald keeps standards of journalism down.