BBC UK ignores ‘England’s worst Emergency Department performance on record’, as NHS Scotland does 17% better

Thanks to stewartb for alerting me to this.

From the Royal College of Emergency Medicine today:

“Once again Emergency Departments have recorded the worst performance on record, the worst four-hour performance and the highest number of 12-hour waits. Patients are waiting for increasingly long periods for an ambulance, in the back of an ambulance and in crowded Emergency Departments. We know that long waits in Emergency Departments can lead to associated harm and even death.

https://rcem.ac.uk/emergency-care-crisis-putting-patients-at-risk-as-they-face-longest-waits-on-record/

Only 58.8% were seen in 4 hours. BBC UK/England’s websites are not covering this. Opposition parties are silent.

Two days ago, BBC Scotland headlined ‘Scottish A&E waiting times reach new record high’ and gave this platform to all three of the opposition parties:

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Craig Hoy said the latest figures should be “a new source of shame” for Health Secretary Humza Yousaf

“Despite the heroic efforts of our frontline NHS staff, more and more patients are suffering increasingly lengthy waits as a result of his failures,” he said.

“The health secretary has been asleep at the wheel and has refused to accept that his NHS recovery plan has failed to fix the problems in our NHS.”

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the crisis in A&E was deepening.

“While frontline NHS staff work tirelessly around the clock, Humza Yousaf has completely failed to make any meaningful attempt to address the underlying problems or control this crisis,” she said.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Week after week we are seeing NHS patients and staff in need of new hope, but little significant action from this SNP-Green government to provide it.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-62134874

The monthly figures for NHS Scotland’s A&E departments have not be published yet but they can be gathered from the weekly data. The June figure is 68.5% seen in 4 hours, 17% better than NHS England’s 58.5%.

Sources:

https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/nhs-performs-weekly-update-of-emergency-department-activity-and-waiting-time-statistics/nhs-performs-weekly-update-of-emergency-department-activity-and-waiting-time-statistics-week-ending-03-july-2022

10 thoughts on “BBC UK ignores ‘England’s worst Emergency Department performance on record’, as NHS Scotland does 17% better

  1. The way in which BBC Scotland and the opposition parties in Scotland is a paradigm example of ‘abuse’ of statistics. Data are gathered to monitor and evaluate performance against aspirational targets. The purposes are to estimate the degree to which these targets are being met and to indicate possible reasons for why they are not being met and to devise ways of reducing those reasons. In addition, they might also indicate if the targets are feasible ones. This is how improvements are made. But, BBC Scotland and the opposition do not enter into such constructive analysis and dialogue. For them it is a source of blame and blame as an end in itself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have stopped watching the BBC it has become irrelevant. At least in Russia propaganda was free here in UK. Ok they charge us for our own brainwashing. Cynical Tory capitalism unleashed. There is a petition to stop the licence fee everyone should sign it. The only thing they tell the truth on is the weather.
      Dissolve the Union.

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  2. Craig Hoy’s “Despite the heroic efforts of our frontline NHS staff, more and more patients are suffering increasingly lengthy waits as a result of his failures” clearly points at political interference by Yousaf despite his own Party in Westminster being the drivers of the divestment.
    Classic misdirection by Hoy – Desperate as he is to repaint a NHSS doing particularly well compared to England’s Trusts as disastrous, he feels obliged to point out the obverse – When failures end up being blamed on itinerant yet incontinent pigeons crapping in AC intake ducts at QEUH as championed by the then HMS Sarah Smith, (gone but not forgiven madam), followed up by HMS James (We’ve seen the (non-existent) emails) Cookie, it’s a hard sell to a public few believe any more…
    There are more feeding incontinent pigeons a high fibre diet..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for highlighting the latest A&E performance statistics. I take no pleasure from these: they have serious implications patients, their families and for NHS staff. This is really about something else: it about how the corporate media, the BBC, and Tory, Labour and Lib Dem politicians go about their business in Scotland.

    The contrasts in scale and substance of responses to each publication of official waiting times data for Scotland and England provides the clearest, the most easily analysed, most blatant indication of different standards being adopted

    On the publication of the latest A&E statistics for England, tucked away on the ‘health’ page of the BBC News website you will find an article published today with this headline:

    ‘Pressure on NHS emergency services getting worse in England’ written by the ‘Digital health editor’. (See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-62161607 )

    By the way it does NOT appear on the ‘politics’ or the main’ England page! There are some other notable things about the article:

    – there is NO PICTURE of the relevant government minister

    – there is NO MENTION anywhere of the responsible government nor of the responsible government department

    – there is NO MENTION of opposition politicians – none whatsoever

    – the Medical Director of NHS England – AN OFFICIAL, an employee – is the one in the frontline explaining the state of England’s emergency services.

    Also notably, the very first paragraph of the article seeks to provide context, arguably an attempt to explain (with my emphasis):

    ‘Pressure on NHS emergency services is getting worse, with patients in England waiting longer for ambulances, MANY STAFF OFF SICK and RECORD NUMBERS OF PEOPLE going to A&E.’ And four lines below: ‘It was also the BUSIEST June ON RECORD for 999 calls, with almost 900,000 answered.’ And again later in the article: ‘On 6 July, 26,874 NHS STAFF WERE OFF WORK for Covid-related reasons, NHS England confirmed.’

    The chosen, deliberate framing of the article – these are bad figures but understandable given the difficult circumstances – is, I suggest, quite clear.

    It’s worth stating the obvious: there is ZERO POLITICISATION of the issue by the BBC! The contrast with how BBC Scotland and opposition politicians in Scotland could not be more stark.

    There is one more remarkable thing about the BBC article. As readers of TuS will know, the most common way that the media – and especially the BBC – report A&E performance is by reference to the percentage of patients dealt with within the 4 hour waiting time target.

    The TuS blog post today reports the current performance statistic published by NHS England – it’s just 58.8%. It is hard to credit – but it’s true – this BBC article MAKES NO MENTION of the percentage performance against this standard metric!

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  4. Sorry to go on about this but I’ve found an hour of free time and candidly, this topic seems worth the effort as it exemplifies the duplicity – i.e. the deceitfulness by acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter – of BBC reporting.

    In an earlier btl post I referred to a BBC News website article on NHS England’s latest A&E waiting times. In its first paragraph it states: ‘Pressure on NHS emergency services is getting worse, with patients in England waiting longer for ambulances, many staff off sick AND RECORD NUMBERS OF PEOPLE GOING TO A&E.’ (my emphasis)

    From the official NHS England publication on A&E patients:
    June 2022 – All Attendances = 2,183,670
    May 2022 = 2,189,010
    The figure is slightly down in June – not a ‘record number’.

    June 2022 – Type 1 (main) Department Attendances = 1,395,225
    May 2022 = 1,402,053
    So c. 6,800 fewer attendances in June -not a ‘record number’.

    Performance against the 4 hour target is poorer in June than May despite fewer attendances.

    Now BBC Scotland happily makes headlines out of even minor shifts in A&E performance statistics in Scotland – especially when these shifts are negative ones. And if the percentage change for 4 hour waits is little changed or positive, I’ve started to notice that they shift the emphasis to other metrics if they are ‘more negative’ – better aligned to editorial policy?

    Let’s look at other NHS England stats:
    June 2022 – numbers of patients waiting more than 4 hours from arrival to admission, discharge or transfer = 502,946
    May 2022 = 487,481

    June 2022 – number of patients waiting more than 12 hours from DECISION TO ADMIT to Admission = 22,034
    May 2022 – number of patients waiting more than 12 hours from DECISION TO ADMIT to admission = 19,053.

    June worse than May on both measures despite fewer admissions. Note, the latter set of numbers says nothing about the time waited BETWEEN arrival to an eventual decision to admit!

    But why on earth does NHS England’s management and/or the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care consistently fail to take advice on how to fix these awful statistics – quickly and once and for all? This is puzzling, especially as the solutions are so obvious and so readily available in Scotland, from the Tory, Labour and Lib Dem health spokespersons in the Holyrood Parliament!

    Source of NHS England A&E performance statistics: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/ae-attendances-and-emergency-admissions-2022-23/

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  5. And yet when Dr Philippa Whitford brought these stats up when she was defending the SNHS’s performance on Politics Live during the week she was met with howls of outrage from no less than Jo Coburn, you know, that BBC stalwart of ‘Impartiality’.
    It was an absolute disgrace and shows once and for all that the BBC are content to tell lies about Scotland’s performance on anything and everything and don’t you dare say otherwise.
    It was the worst example I’ve seen yet of BBC bias.
    We are allowed to criticize your performance but don’t you dare criticize England.
    Well done Philippa. The only thing you missed out was the classic line from Jack Nicholson “You can’t handle the truth”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe worth sending this post directly to Jo cockburn? Or tag her on twitter to the post – she might not read it but then again she might. Mind, the BBC reported Scotland s figures were “slightly” better so it’s a long shot!

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  6. It makes me wonder, really, if BBC Wales and NI report their news in the same way. Do they report hysterical headlines that Welsh/NI hospitals are seeing the worst stats in living memory or do they properly report giving ALL the nations’ statistics for comparison? We are one country after all as I am constantly being told by people on social media.

    Like

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