The selectivity of the Unionist-inclined media in Scotland in reporting health-related statistics

By stewartb

The selectivity of the Unionist-inclined media in Scotland in reporting health-related statistics is no longer a surprise! Here is another example of omission, even though it’s from an organisation that is frequently quoted by BBC Scotland to frame a ‘bad’ news story.

Source: Royal College of Emergency Medicine (May 2022) RCEM Acute Insight Series: Beds in the NHS. (https://rcem.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/RCEM-Acute-Insight-Series-Beds.pdf

The RCME records that since 2010/11, the NHS has lost almost 25,000 beds across the UK. Whilst acknowledging that changes in the nature of healthcare provision has meant that the role of hospital admission has changed, it argues, reasonably that hospital beds still represent an essential part of healthcare. It concludes that ‘the outcome is that the NHS is now under-bedded’.

It adds: ‘This has important consequences; patients must now endure long waits to be admitted with emergency department staff providing care normally provided in wards even as they continue to care for new arrivals; ambulance handover delays increase and there are delays to calls for an ambulance; planned operations are cancelled.’

It then examines the number of hospital beds per head of population across the UK and Europe: ‘At 2.42 beds per 1,000 people, THE UK SITS SECOND FROM LAST, just ahead of Sweden (2.1), but behind the other 21 nations.’ (my emphasis)

‘Within the UK, there is unwarranted variation in the numbers of available beds. AT 3.6 BEDS PER 1000, SCOTLAND STANDS AHEAD OF THE OTHER FOUR NATIONS, and would sit in the middle of the European Union nations. AT 2.2 BEDS PER 1000, ENGLAND HAS THE FEWEST.’

In arguing for an increase in available beds, the RCEM states: ‘… the ambition should be to improve on recent years, which have seen BED OCCUPANCY ROUTINELY REACH DANGEROUS LEVELS IN ENGLAND.’ Imagine if that had been written about NHS Scotland!

According to NHS Perform, during December 2021 (the latest data available) NHS Scotland had on average 13,447 staffed beds, the highest average figure for 22 months. In December 2019 it had 13,248 beds. And in December 2018 it had 13,026.

The RCEM, in arguing now for an increase in bed numbers across the UK to reverse a prior drop in total numbers, did not mention these more recent trend data on ‘staffed bed’ in Scotland in its report.

3 thoughts on “The selectivity of the Unionist-inclined media in Scotland in reporting health-related statistics

  1. Glen Campbed–“DRossie, why are you such a great leader”?

    DRossie.–“Dunno, Glen. A life among bovines teaches you to hold your nose”!

    Glen Campbed–“DRossie, without your support, life for Boris will be unbearable”.

    Drossie–“I know Glen. Can I sit on your knee”?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. If a datum relating to Scotland is low, BBC Scotland and the unionist media will highlight it as ‘Scottish’. If, as in the case of beds as shown above, if the UK figure is bad, then, the Scottish figure must also be bad … because we’re allone country, aren’t we???

    Liked by 4 people

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