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/