A ‘crisis’ with nearly twice as many beds and 50% more nurses than NHS England?

Scotland does have less hospital beds than it had before. This is the planned result of changes to way patients are treated to reduce the risks of hospitalisation for those who can be treated in the community.

From the Kings Fund in 2020 but of course missed by the SUN:

Most other advanced health care systems have also reduced bed numbers in recent years. However, the UK has fewer acute beds relative to its population than many comparable health systems.https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/nhs-hospital-bed-numbers

The Kings Fund report lumps Scotland in with the UK but that’s deceptive. See this, also from 2020:

UK people per hospital bed

Scotland has a hospital bed for every 265 people whereas England only has one for every 413. If there are bed shortages in Scotland and the graph below suggests not, then they are nearly twice as bad in England.

Admissions as of the end of October, are less than a third of the peak in April 2022, ICU cases, in single figures, are at less than one-sixth of the peak in November 2021 and, notably, at less than half the rate in England.

So, that’s beds, what about staff?


Astonishingly, NHS Scotland has 50% more nurses than NHS England. Could the Scottish Government have played any part in this?

Perhaps they’re all off sick? Nope. The absence rate among NHS Scotland nurses and midwives has fallen again in week-ending 21st September to just over half that at the most recent peak in January 2021: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-trends-in-daily-data/

Consultants, GPs? Yes more of them too.


6 thoughts on “A ‘crisis’ with nearly twice as many beds and 50% more nurses than NHS England?

  1. One of the points made strongly by Humza Yousaf yesterday in his long interview on BBC Scotland (radio and TV) was that NHS Scotland has to change and adapt and do things differently. He listed a number of good reasons and a substantial part of the solution is moving many things out of hospitals to more localised centres, including care and convalescent homes, to more outpatient services and to centralising highly specialised services in a few national locations.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Britain bad”–so for imperial “journalism”, that MUST apply to Scotland. Scottish stats dont matter.

    Scottish oil and gas can give the UK “energy security”, but somehow will have run out the minute Scotland gains its independence.

    Here is a telescope.
    What end you look through depends on……
    if you are a “journalist” or a journalist.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sunak and the Tories would be ill advised to implement their proposals to hold Holyrood to account with regards Health and education
    If they do they would be merely lifting the lid of their cess pits of abysmal performance and outcomes
    Bring out yer apples and oranges Little bankrupt in consequential England
    Then Scotland can truly compare
    Ah but they are feart to do so
    All F***ing Blah Blah bloody Blah
    Nae action or guts for a square go are they
    Cum oot Cum oot Sunak
    And ficht us like a man
    Or awa tae yer mummy
    And suckle9 fi her for succour
    Awa wi ye
    Cowering timerious wee beasty
    Yer a Paper Tiger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More a case of England not OK, really really not OK. It’s absolutely criminal, the people of England need to wake up to what is being done to their public services.
      Meanwhile in Scotland the Scottish government are working hard, yep, ‘getting the job done’, to ensure that our public services keep functioning as well as they can, while working against huge odds in being ‘part’ of this dysfunctional disunited kingdom, with budget cuts by the English government and English government imposed austerity and their disgraceful economic vandalism.
      The media as in the BBC and STV have a lot to answer for re their lies and constant propaganda to undermine the hard work of the Scottish government, in keeping our public services functioning effectively for the people of Scotland.


  4. The severe challenges facing the UK’s ‘NHS’ model of publicly -funded healthcare needs serious, well-informed people to debate the issues and find practical, sustainable solutions.

    We know that Labour politicians in Scotland, in their vitriol towards the Scottish Government because of shortcomings in NHS Scotland, are only matched by the Tory politicians when they attack the Labour Welsh Government regarding the performance of NHS Wales. So I’m not expecting much change in approach from these quarters.

    I am often disappointed – worse – by the rhetoric used by professionals representing healthcare staff. Today it’s the Chair of BMA Scotland that attracts attention. His remarks are quoted in a BBC News website article entitled: ‘NHS Scotland in a perilous situation, says doctors’ union’.

    The trigger is the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Humza Yousaf reported as telling BBC Scotland ‘it would take at least five years to fix NHS Scotland’.

    The BBC then quotes the BMA Scotland chairperson saying ‘that “frankly we cannot wait five years” for things to improve’.

    So which is the more reasonable interpretation of Mr Yousaf’s remarks?
    (1) it is the present (and possibly the next) Scottish Government’s plan to do nothing – no additional inputs to support NHS Scotland, no additional outputs, nor outcomes, nor impacts – UNTIL AFTER a period of five years has elapsed? Stasis for five years and then suddenly the ‘fix’ magically is done?


    (2) the plan is for PROGRESSIVE IMPROVEMENT over a five year period, at the end of which time THE ‘FIX’ IS FORECAST TO BE COMPLETE.

    On what basis is the chairperson of BMA Scotland – the one being reported saying “frankly we cannot wait five years” for things to improve’ – deciding that the FIRST interpretation is the more reasonable?

    Is this sloppy use of words: is it a deliberate attempt to mislead? And the BBC journalist’s role? Not smart enough to notice; not professional enough to challenge; content with amplifying a misleading statement for the reasons we may know quite well?

    Let’s give the BMA Scotland and BBC Scotland representatives credit: they’re professionals, they know what they’re doing here. The contribution looks like a straw man argument i.e. one in which a person sets up and then attacks a position that is not actually being proposed. It is a method meant to confuse, one that is deliberately misleading and irrelevant to the actual issue at hand. It is also a diversionary tactic, distracting the reader in this instance away from the actual issue namely: there is no quick fix for the problems facing the NHS in Scotland – and not in England, NI or Wales either!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.