BBC Scotland opting to run negative news stories about NHS Scotland

BBC Scotland’s Health Correspondent, Lisa Summers

By stewartb

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.


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!


4 thoughts on “BBC Scotland opting to run negative news stories about NHS Scotland

  1. Well, your assertion of lack of context is not strictly true. During the pigeon shit crisis, BBC Scotland did an in depth ‘interview’ with two fascist confidence tricksters, relating how the health of one had been severely impaired by the pigeon shit.

    If waiting times in A&E are as they are across all parts of the UK then the matter ought to be addressed analytically and constructively. If Ninewells, for example, in the ‘dysfunctional’ (sic – Lisa Summers) Tayside Health Board area is meeting the 90% target, what is the picture across all hospitals and, why is such a large facility achieving such targets?

    During the pandemic, I had to go once to A&E – at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. A seat I was sitting on collapsed and I fell on my side, bashing my ribs. I was triaged within 5 minutes, and called into the treatment area 10 minutes later. I was given an ECG – the temperature outside was very cold and the temperature as measured in my ear was on the low side and since I am 74 and have diabetes, they checked my heart. It was OK because I had warmed up. I was X-rayed, the doctor felt around my ribs, a blood sample was taken in case the fall had damaged a kidney. Waiting for the blood test took up most of the time: No damage, just bruising. I was given ibuprofen gel and sent on my way. In total, about 90 minutes in A&E.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Aye, a well deserved promotion of Stewart’s comment.

    Before retirement from engineering, targets were a regular facet, in some cases they were to say the least “ambitious”, but this contrived stooshie by the BBC in Scotland, Tsunami Baillie and Disaster Gulhane is the height of nonsense irrespective of the comparison or lack thereof with England.
    – When you’re dealing with a predictable and known process you may reasonably estimate time to job done – A scheduled mixer load delayed because of an RTA enroute throws your schedule out (affecting everything from the next task onward), all you can do is explain it in the logs for any who wish to be informed.
    – An emergency job is a totally different animal, you have to assess the problem and derive from the options a solution, muster resources and crack on with it. You can hope to have it fixed in 4 hours but an emergency takes as long as it takes to deal with, and absolutely nobody is going to bitch about you having done your best.

    A&E is as the second example, an emergency scenario, to investigate, derive a solution and set things in train to rectify the problem.
    However long it takes is largely irrelevant, the objective is to identify and fix the problem – The stats may highlight something to investigate by hospital managers, there is always an explanation behind the stats for every single case.

    Neither Lisa Summers, nor Jackie Baillie, nor Sandesh Gulhane are hospital managers, they are propagandists who should be pilloried by the public for abusing stats for political ends.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. O/T The delegated powers sought by this Tory government are ‘quite breathtaking’!

    The Hansard Society for Parliamentary Democracy was founded in 1944. It is known as the UK’s leading source of independent research and advice on the Westminster Parliament and parliamentary affairs. When this august body make the following statements it merits the attention of all citizens concerned to preserve and enhance parliamentary democracy.

    In a twitter thread today, the Society reported its initial assessment of the DELEGATED POWERS being proposed in the NORTHERN IRELAND PROTOCOL BILL. In short, it states: ‘they are QUITE BREATHTAKING.” (my emphasis)

    Aș an introduction the Society’s thread states: ‘We make no comment on the Bill’s legal/policy justifications – others are better-placed to do so. But on the scope of the powers & the scrutiny implications for Parliament, the provisions are on a par with – & arguably surpass – the broadest powers we saw in the Brexit bills.’

    Here are some of the examples given:

    ‘.. EVERY REGULATION-MAKING POWER IN THE BILL IS ESSENTIALLY CONVERTED INTO A ‘HENRY VIII’ POWER by clause 22, which says regulations made under this Act MAY MAKE ANY PROVISION THAT COULD BE MADE BY AN ACT OF PARLIAMENT, including provisions modifying this Bill/Act.’

    ‘…. of the Bill’s 26 clauses, 10 provide for Ministers to ‘by regulations, MAKE ANY PROVISION WHICH THE MINISTER CONSIDERS APPROPRIATE IN CONNECTION WITH’ the Protocol, or other parts of the Withdrawal Agreement, or the NIP Bill itself. ‘

    ‘Clause 19 ENABLES MINISTERS TO USE REGULATIONS TO IMPLEMENT ANY FUTURE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UK & THE EU that ‘modifies, supplements or replaces the whole or any part’ of the Protocol. ‘

    Adding: ‘So, if the actual Protocol were to be amended or replaced, THE NEW UK-EU AGREEMENT COULD BE IMPLEMENTED IN THE UK NOT BY AN ACT OF PARLIAMENT BUT BY REGULATIONS – which would mean LIMITED PARLIAMENTARY SCRUTINY of the implementing legislation.’

    ( )

    About HENRY VIII powers: ‘ In 2016 .. the former Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Judge, said of Henry VIII powers: “not one page, not one single page, of gazillions of pages of statutory instruments has been amended… THERE IS NO POWER OF AMENDMENT. Subject to a tiny limited category, when an instrument is laid before Parliament, WHICHEVER HOUSE IS CONSIDERING IT MUST TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT.”

    ‘Given that PARLIAMENT CAN’T AMEND Henry VIII powers, and are therefore forced into a ‘take it or leave it’ position, the use of these powers unavoidably means that THE EXECUTIVE HAS MORE POWER. Lord Judge called for HVIII clauses to BE “CONFINED TO THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY” BECAUSE OF THEIR DAMAGING CONSEQUENCES: “proliferation of clauses like these will have the inevitable consequence of yet further damaging the sovereignty of Parliament, and INCREASING YET FURTHER THE AUTHORITY OF THE EXECUTIVE OVER THE LEGISLATURE.”

    Source: Civil Society Alliance’s explainer 23 October, 2018.

    It may be that UK citizens will need to look again to the unelected House of Lords for protection of parliamentary democracy. From the Hansard Society’s twitter thread:

    ‘The undefined concepts of ‘appropriateness’ & ‘in connection with’, as thresholds for Ministers to meet, are regularly complained about by the @UKHouseofLords Delegated Powers Committee ..’

    Liked by 3 people

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