Almost 100% of patients seen within target


Most health boards could miss surgery waiting time target is the actual headline which BBC Scotland has in the above.

BBC Scotland is, of course, not reporting the actual performance data but preferring to tell us about the bad news they predict will happen, the two-year waiting guarantee.

I’m not suggesting they should not report negative NHS news but, in the interests of the balance they claim matters to them (see James Cook recently) they should also reporting hitting targets, like this:

During the quarter ending 30 June 2022, 375 patients attended an IVF screening appointment, an 11.1% reduction in comparison with the previous quarter (422 patients). By the end of the quarter, the average number of patients screened each month was similar to the pre-pandemic level during 2019. The 90% standard was met, with 99.5% of patients attending a screening appointment within 52 weeks from referral.

IVF treatment targets have been met for years now and they are, contrary to the silence around them, hugely important, more perhaps than many others getting headlines. Why?

The lack of media attention to this is remarkable given the very significant wider benefits of this service in terms of mental health.

Those relatively new to the site may not have seen this. I appreciate that this probably needs updating but still I think makes important points:

Reducing associated mental health complications

Failing to treat infertility can result in problems and further costs for the NHS in other areas. A Danish study of 98 737 women, between 1973 and 2003, showed that women who were unable to have children were 47% more likely to be hospitalised for schizophrenia and had a significantly higher risk of subsequent drug and alcohol abuse.

Meanwhile in Tory-run NHS England, only 12% of boards offer three full cycles in line with official guidance. 61% offer only one cycle of treatment and 4% offer none at all.

A warning for Scotland’s 100% IVF post-Brexit: How moneygrubbing Tory IVF policies are creating massive distress now in England

How IVF became a licence to print money.

As we tumble toward a hard Brexit and trade deals with the USA allowing the private sector into the heart of the NHS, we can see how things will work out in the already privatised IVF service in England and contrast it with the state-controlled and regulated version, in Scotland. See this from the Guardian:

‘Private fertility clinics routinely try to sell desperate patients add-ons that almost certainly don’t help – why isn’t more done to monitor the industry?  Around three-quarters of all IVF cycles fail. And results vary with age. Figures from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) published in March state the average live birth-rate for each fresh embryo transferred for women of all ages is 21%; for those aged under 35, it is 29% – the highest it has ever been. For older women, the picture is bleaker: 10% for women aged 40-42, for example. IVF is expensive. And what makes it worse, says Hugh Risebrow, the report’s author, is the lack of pricing transparency. “The headline prices quoted may be, say, £3,500, but you end up with a bill of £7,000,” he says. “This is because there are things not included that you need – and then things that are offered but are not evidence-based.”’

Creating opportunities for the private sector

In Tory-run NHS England, only 12% of boards offer three full cycles in line with official guidance. 61% offer only one cycle of treatment and 4% offer none at all. Private treatment costs between £1 343 and £5 788 per cycle.

Why UK politicians would like more privatisation in the NHS

There are 64 Tory and Labour (New) MPs with ‘links’ to private health care. Why would we trust them to protect the NHS? See this:

10 thoughts on “Almost 100% of patients seen within target

  1. Misreporting Scotlandshire and the BBC is being ”impartial and balanced” according to its Mission Statement – supporting the Union !
    It is no more than a propaganda outlet for the British State and , increasingly , a strident supporter of Tory policies !

    Liked by 4 people

      1. ‘Lunatic’ asylums were dreadful prisons. They often full of people who likely had autism and other what we now call, disabilities, and of course unmarried women who actually literally went mad in the asylums. They were treated terribly, and probably experimented on as well. Humans have a lot to answer for and no doubt some who should have been locked up walked free, just like today.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting. The writer says that very high grid connection charges need to be addressed by the UKgov, hm hm. First the whole of Scotland is ripped off by the next door neighbour (not just remote or ‘rura’l areas)as we all know the ‘national grid’ is nearly all situated in England and they control the whole system. The UKEnglish government have removed a lot of funding for renewables in Scotland. Renewables should have been the main energy resource in Scotland and outwith Scotland, was just discussing that disgraceful neglect with my son last night and about how the powerful oil and gas and coal companies made sure they were the main resources no doubt while lobbying governments to hold back progress in rewewables.

      Rachel Carlson, Carl Sagan, and others, told governments way way back that to keep using fossil fuels would literally lead to the destruction of the planet making it uninhabitable. It’s not looking good right now is it.


  2. The BBC, (Brit/EngNat state) won’t be happy until the Scottish NHS is sold off, and with the English governments’ ‘internal market act’ they will remove funding and install profiteering private companies as they have done in England. Unless….hm I wonder how Scotland could stop them.

    Truss is going to be PM, unless as has been (jokingly) suggested she gets to be deputy PM while his lordship rules over the sheeple from chequers. Stranger thaings have happened. England’s going the way of Russia, fashioing itself on the republicans in the US and China and well, many dodgy regimes really.
    Scotland better escape before it’s simply too late.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. O/T From today’s Scotland Politics section of the BBC News website: ‘Scottish economy FORECAST to grow slower than UK’. (my emphasis)

    It begins: ‘Scotland’s economy is PROJECTED to grow more slowly than the UK over the next 50 years, according to the Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC). The independent body projected that Scotland’s GDP would grow by 0.9% per year on average between 2028-29 and 2071-72.’

    As an aside, it is astonishing how statistically precise economists claim to be! It begs the question: is Scotland’s economic fate already sealed for the next 50 years?

    This is the source report:

    Here we read this (with my emphasis): ‘1.3 Our approach to the long-term fifty-year projections is different to our five-year medium-term forecasts, …. Long-term projections are ILLUSTRATIVE, there is LARGE UNCERTAINTY REGARDING POLICY CHANGE as well as HOW THE POPULATION AND ECONOMY MAY EVOLVE. Instead the key aim is to highlight how broad trends will affect the public finances over time. WE USE THE DESCRIPTION ‘PROJECTION’ RATHER THAN ‘FORECAST’ in relation to the long-term analysis to reflect this. The projections shown here indicate what would happen given our assumptions about the population and economy.’

    So this is explicitly NOT being put forward as a 50 year FORECAST for the reasons stated by the SFC – EXCEPT it is in the BBC’s headline!

    In another notable part of the report: ‘1.4 We outline how our approach to fiscal sustainability NEEDS TO CONSIDER UK GOVERNMENT FUNDING AND SPENDING PROJECTIONS as well as UK ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE, not only the Scottish Government’s Budget and the Scottish economy in our ‘Approach to fiscal sustainability: consultation’ paper’.

    ‘For example, the INCOME TAX NET POSITION MATTERS RATHER THAN THE LEVEL OF SCOTTISH INCOME TAX REVENUE. The net position is the difference between Scottish income tax revenue and the Block Grant Adjustment (the amount removed from the Scottish Budget to reflect what would have been raised or spent in Scotland, had Scottish revenues grown in line with the rest of the UK since its devolution). The INCOME TAX NET POSITION IS AN IMPORTANT DETERMINANT OF THE SCOTTISH BUDGET FUNDING POSITION and is important for the future sustainability of Scottish Government finances.’

    I can’t claim to understand all the issues being raised here but it does seem that the Scottish Government’s long term financial position is conditional on a complex of dependencies on UK-wide factors. This includes UK government policies beyond its control – and effectively beyond the influence of Scotland’s electorate. And this is the set of circumstances that give rise to a dismal 50 year projection!

    BBC Scotland’s Douglas Fraser, writing in the BBC News website on this SFC report, leaves his readers with a rather scary, negative conclusion – but he is expressing a negative outlook based on 50 year projections for a Scotland WITHIN the UK! (I wonder if even for a moment he pondered that as he wrote his piece?)

    Mr Fraser begins: ‘Economic projections depend on taking recent trends and pushing them into the future. And if the past few years are any guide, there’s a lot that will squeeze Scotland’s economy in the next 50 years.’ Later he adds ‘So the demographic forecasts tell us the course we’re on, if other things don’t change, and IF WE DON’T MAKE CHOICES TO CHANGE THEM.’ Notably on possible changes, he acknowledges the potential impact of changing migration policies: no mention that these are reserved to Westminster!

    He concludes: ‘Today’s report from the Scottish Fiscal Commission is the prelude to a study, due next March, of what this could mean for the taxation base (shrinking) and public spending (rising).

    ‘The Commission has already warned about more shorter term PRESSURES ARISING FROM SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT PROMISES ON WELFARE BENEFITS THAT WILL BE HARD TO SUSTAIN, while Audit Scotland points to health and social care pressures that are already unsustainable.’

    (Presumably in writing this, Mr Fraser is aware that the next UK PM – the one we haven’t been able to vote on and who will lead a political party which a majority in Scotland hasn’t voted for for well over 50 years – considers that the UK’s economic ills will be solved by tax cuts. )

    Mr Fraser ends: ‘You can safely predict that the (SFC) report next March will not be comfortable reading for policy-makers, and particularly those who wish to retain the current range of public services that are free to use.‘

    So back to the question, IS Scotland’s economic fate already sealed for the next 50 years, with ever poorer public services? Mr Fraser seems unsure: perhaps having noted that the future is not inevitable, it is easier for him to frame his final words negatively than end by referencing the blindingly obvious alternative, positive and aspirational case for Scotland, its electorate and government, namely to acquire the agency of a normal nation-state and so enable necessary, less fettered change. appropriate to Scotland’s needs and wants.

    In the SFC’s projections there seems to be much emphasis on factors which depend on what happens at a UK level – UK government funding and spending; the UK’s economy, of course with a performance dominated by London and SE England, relative to the economy of Scotland; UK government policies including e.g on the reserved matter of immigration. Faced with a dismal projection, why maintain the status quo in terms of who has the powers to deliver change? The case for self-determination just gets more compelling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read this yet, but just from your excellent synopsis I would argue that we now have a clear negative appraisal against remaining in the union.

      Liked by 1 person

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