Tayside deaths – cherry-picking the news

The Herald’s Health Correspondent tells us:

NHS Tayside had the second highest stillbirth rate in the UK during the first year of the pandemic, according to a report which found growing variations in performance between similar maternity units. The annual MBRRACE (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries) surveillance report on perinatal mortality – neonatal deaths and stillbirths combined – is the most comprehensive evaluation of trends in birth outcomes across the UK.


She doesn’t tell us:

However, it is important to note that the Vital Events figures for, say, a small area or a small sub-group of the population may be subject to large percentage fluctuations from (e.g.) year to year, due simply to the inevitable variability of natural events. Similarly, even the total number of deaths registered across Scotland as a whole may be subject to large percentage fluctuations if it relates to a short period (such as a week), due to both natural variation and factors (such as public holidays) which affect the arrangements for registering deaths. 


We’re talking about, for example:

This, 0.05%, is not a statistically significant difference nor is it meaningful or newsworthy.

She doesn’t tell us the latest news, that in Scotland, in the last three months of published data:

There were 48 stillbirths (3.9 per 1000 live and still births), 10 per cent below the quarter one average.


While we’re on NHS Tayside, the MSM never tell us this kind of thing:

3 thoughts on “Tayside deaths – cherry-picking the news

  1. Sadly , Unionist straw clutching at its ”best” !
    As it is in The Herald , who is going to read it apart from a declining number of dyed-in-the-wool SNP/Scotland Baaaad readers .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The full MBRRACE (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries) surveillance report cautions on the statistical significance of trends in mortality rates in NI, Scotland and Wales.

    The report notes: ‘rates show more year on year variation due to their smaller population sizes.’

    If this is so even for Scotland as a whole, how much more must it be (statistically) true for the mortality rate just within ONE health board area?

    Liked by 1 person

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