‘Left waiting?’ Yes, on good beds with great staff

Last week, the Herald trumpeted thousands of beds cut in Scotland and, as today, forgot this, so a quick reminder:


So, Scotland has approaching twice as many beds available for patients than England or Northern Ireland and around 15% more than Wales does.

And, this ‘left waiting in A&E?’ I’ve been in an A&E bed for hours before transfer to a ward. The bed and the staff were at least as good as those in the ward. That headline kind of implies left on trolleys but there is no evidence of that in Scotland’s hospitals. There was in NHS England, last February:

Some 16,500 of them waited over 12 hours – many either stuck on trolleys in corridors or in A&E bays because wards were full.


4 thoughts on “‘Left waiting?’ Yes, on good beds with great staff

  1. Do not be surprised if we get the ‘Nearly 20 000 left on trolleys for more than 12 hours in A&Es as Scotland’s targets missed again.” Somewhere at the foot of the article, we will be told that the 20 000 figure is for the entire UK.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. There are figures published for those you have not cleared from A&E attendance within the 12 hours target, but there is NO WAY from those figures that Helen McArdle can reasonably conclude they are “waiting for a bed”, presumably in a ward, or anything else for that matter.
    McArdle even has the gall to slide the “Studies have repeatedly shown clear links between avoidable deaths and admission delays…” nonsense into her article.

    This is the same claptrap as Disaster Gulhane and Tsunami Baillie reguarly peddle, implying the patient has not even seen yet, maybe even dead.

    Hyperbolic nonsense which I’m certain annoys the hell out of NHS personnel.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The Herald states three quite different things in the first three sentences of its article today on A&E and delayed discharge. It’s relevant to note that its written by its Health Correspondent i.e. by its subject specialist.

    1) Headline: ‘Thousands left waiting in A&E for 12 hours amid BED SHORTAGE’. (my emphasis)

    The headline begs questions – against what benchmark is ‘bed shortage’ being judged? It seems highly relevant to note the following for context:

    (a) the Royal College of Emergency Medicine has recently recorded that: ‘‘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’ The RCEM adds: ‘BED OCCUPANCY ROUTINELY REACH DANGEROUS LEVELS IN ENGLAND’.

    (https://rcem.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/RCEM-Acute-Insight-Series-Beds.pdf )

    And: (b) A&E waiting time performance in Scotland is CONSISTENTLY BETTER AND BY A LARGE MARGIN than equivalent services in England.

    2) The Herald’s sub-heading reads: ‘3,500 patients not admitted on time in April DUE TO record level of delayed discharge’.

    The alert reader will note the work being done here by ‘DUE TO’! Evidence of the degree of causality? No matter – in the next sentence, the Health Correspondent swiftly changes her (specialist) position as she writes:

    3) ‘Thousands spent more than 12 hours in A&E AMID a record number of delayed discharges.’ ‘DUE TO’ reverts to ‘AMID’! So which is it? Is there evidence of causality or not?

    If motivated by gaslighting The Herald’s job is done. If motivated by advancing understanding – and therefore communicating a well-founded basis for the legitimate task of holding a government to account – its job has hardly started! Perhaps this all comes down to a journalist’s – especially a subject specialist’s – basic decision on professional ‘purpose’ – of what ‘motivates’?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.