If UK’s best emergency service is ‘knackered’ what must the rest be like?

BBC Scotland headlining the Health Secretary’s empathy becomes a story for BBC UK (bottom right):

BBC England/UK, Wales and Northern Ireland have no A&E worries it seems. They must be performing better. In March 2022:

  1. NHS Scotland 71.6% seen in 4 hours
  2. NHS Wales 65.9% seen in 4 hours.
  3. NHS England 58.7% seen in 4 hours
  4. NHS N Ireland sneakily only do quarterly data and months late, so for October-December 2021, 53.1% seen in 4 hours.

Sources:

https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/ae-activity-and-waiting-times/ae-activity-and-waiting-times-month-ending-31-march-2022/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-61499651

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/ae-attendances-and-emergency-admissions-2021-22/

https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/health/hs-niwts-ecwt-interactive-q3-21-22.html

9 thoughts on “If UK’s best emergency service is ‘knackered’ what must the rest be like?

  1. I’ve just used the (poor) search facility on the BBC News website using the term ‘A&E’. There can be no doubt based on the results that the BBC is opting to run negative news stories about NHS Scotland in preference to balanced coverage of the problems being experienced in A&E departments across the UK. And it is doing so without providing context or perspective in their Scotland-based coverage.

    To supplement the relevant perspective given on the 4 hour waiting time performance in the blog post above, here is information provided in a press release from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine dated 31 May 2022 (with my emphasis):

    ‘In April 2022 in England, 24,000 patients were delayed by 12 hours or more (from DECISION TO ADMIT TO ADMISSION), in April in Scotland, 4,000 patients faced a 12 hour wait (from TIME OF ARRIVAL), in Wales, 11,000 patients faced a 12 hour wait (from time of arrival), and in March 2022 in Northern Ireland, 8,581 patients faced a 12 hour wait (from time of arrival).’ The scale of difference revealed here between Scotland, Wales and NI is marked.

    Source: https://rcem.ac.uk/new-report-shows-13000-staffed-beds-required-across-the-nhs-to-drive-meaningful-change-and-improvement/

    The patients waiting 12 hours or more in England were JUST waiting for a bed – a ‘trolley wait’. Importantly, on 10 March 2022 the RCEM acknowledged that: ‘NHS England currently measure 12-hour waits from decision to admit to admission. THE TRUE SCALE OF 12-HOUR WAITS IS MUCH HIGHER.’ So how long had A&E patients in England already been waiting from the time they arrived at A&E to the decision to admit them?

    Those patients waiting 12 hours from first arriving at A&E in the other three nations may have been ‘delayed’ because of time taken to obtain results of diagnostic tests and/or time on a ‘trolley wait’.

    Not only is NHS England performing more poorly on the 4 hour standard, it is performing very poorly over longer waits too. In a press statement dated 14 April, 2022, the RCEM noted this for NHS England in the year 2021-22:

    ‘A total of 98,686 patients waited for 12-hours or more from decision to admit in major Emergency Departments The number of 12-hour waits in 2021-2022 (98,686 12-hour waits) is 30 TIMES THE AMOUNT OF 12-HOUR WAITS IN THE LAST PRE-PANDEMIC YEAR, 2018-2019 (3,260 12-hour waits).

    Like me, are you puzzled as to why the Tory Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is not taking advice on the remedy for all these A&E problems in England from his fellow Tory, Dr. Sandesh Gulhane, the man in Scotland with the answers? And of course we know who in the Labour opposition in Holyrood the Welsh government could turn to for the answer!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was more surprised by the BBC Scotland headline piece “Can video calls ease the pressure on Scotland’s A&Es?” being so rapid demoted within hours, then the penny dropped, they’d “gorn nashnul” – Presumably one of Jack’s many minions (pronounced mini minions) had spotted how the original could be improved and rushed off a fuzzy photo of an MBE in a presentation box alongside testicles dangling over a liquidiser to HMS Jammy Cook…

    So let’s see -Oh yes, “One junior doctor described the situation as “frankly dangerous”, who then makes a reappearance WAY down the page as the BMA’s Dr Lailah Peel saying “It is just frankly dangerous right now”, but in neither case did anyone explain what the hell Frank had to do with any of it.

    It’s a pastiche of your original article, the “Video…” piece together with a liberal seasoning of undated comment from Yousaf and a dash of Nick Robinson’s he said nothing.

    Flouncing Jack must have been purring down the line…

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  3. My concern is that it takes people like you John and other people on social media to highlight this. What is wrong with the Scottish government? Why can’t they defend this? They must surely have some means of highlighting what are effectively lies.

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  4. There is little doubt that the BBC Scotland pieces were choreographed. I found it odd that staff who were claiming they were being swamped with work had time to speak to the interviewers and to be able to deliver their vox pops so crisply. On Good Morning Scotland, as well as long pieces every quarter hour and half hour their were damning headlines. Then, at the end of the programme it swung seamlessly into Mornings with Kaye Adams encouraging people to phone in with tales of ‘how bad it is’.

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    1. It is certainly choreographed AND:

      – BBC headlines framed negatively – almost always

      – typically includes political comment from opposition parties – unlike coverage of NHS England by the BBC

      – negative articles often accompanied by a photo of a Scottish Government minister – rare when the BBC covers NHS England. Indeed a Westminster minister is rarely associated with BBC coverage of NHS England

      – BBC Scotland provides no context – e.g. UK-wide austerity for a decade or more; only Westminster has ALL the tools required to deliver a step-change level of financial resourcing

      – BBC Scotland provides no perspective – e.g. comparisons with the NHS in other parts of the UK

      – BBC Scotland never challenges opposition politicians in Scotland for their ‘solutions’

      – BBC Scotland never challenges Scottish Tories with what’s happening in England under a Tory government or what’s happening in Wales under a Labour government.

      One could go on!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. UTTERLY corrupt tv channel NOT FIT TO COVER SCOTLAND
    SEND THEM HOME TO ENGLAND WHERE TORIES RUN BBC ENGLAND
    LIKE THEIR OWN NATIONALIST STATION

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  6. Did anyone watch Panorama last night? The employment and working practice of big American company led GP services is bad enough but of course has the knock on effect of less funding for health services in the devolved nations, cut price provision in England means less health funding for Scotland. The creeping privatisation of the NHS was a big topic in 2014 and the Scottish tories need to be questioned about their thoughts on the way things are moving down south

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  7. The other difference between the A&E performances of Scotland and England is that the former is ‘hidden in plain sight’ (i.e. the actual numbers are on the PHS website) whereas the numbers for England are ‘hidden in a spreadsheet’.

    I hoped that your source for the England data might lead me more directly to some numbers, when I saw this – “In addition, NHS Digital publishes monthly quality indicators which can be found here.” Unfortunately the link is broken!

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