in the Guardian today:
The study, by an international team of researchers including academics from the University of Oxford, examined data on millions of live births across Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia and the UK.
The UK data included information on more than 2 million live births between 2016 and 2018.
They found that the rates of death among mothers in pregnancy and up to 42 days after the birth of their children varied from 2.7 per 100,000 live births in Norway to 10.9 in Slovakia. In the UK, there were 9.6 maternal deaths for every 100,000 babies born.https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/nov/16/uk-has-second-highest-maternal-death-rate-in-eight-country-european-study
In the Scotsman on 13 July 2022:
Led by Dr Nazire Lone of the University of Edinburgh, the study authors analysed 17 types of diagnoses and nine different interventions (including critical care) as a snapshot measure of severe complications among Scottish mothers….The study’s findings, published in the journal Anaesthesia, show that across all pregnant women combined, the death rate was 5.4 per 100,000 pregnancies.https://www.scotsman.com/health/decades-long-fall-in-maternal-deaths-during-childbirth-stalls-3765281
Why might this be. Better NHS? More nurses and doctors? Better relationships between SNP Government and NHS Scotland?
Twice as many health visitors?
9 thoughts on “Despite shared Tory austerity, why does Scotland have far lower maternal death ratio?”
Hey John, Great work as always and I’m sure you’ve seen this article before and I’m wondering when there will be a police investigation?? https://www.janes.com/amp/ioc-for-uk-royal-navys-first-in-class-type-26-frigate-to-be-delayed-by-12-months/ZnlJK3dHVU9mZ28xajRJVkc5dVI5VFp1cVMwPQ2
Janes! Aged 12 (1963) I used to spend hours in Grangemouth Ref Library, only yards from the docks and pore over Janes Fighting Ships before going home to build the Airfix Bismarck or Hood or….
Ah, but…. the rate in Scotland is twice that in Norway, so that proves Scotland is bad. England’s rate is much higher than Scotland’s and in the unionist media’ book of misusing statistics, higher is always better!
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I think you will find, don’t know if it is actually in the BBC charter, comparison with Norway, or any country with a better outcome is legitimate, comparison with England is whataboutery when our figures are better.
I call it the Beattiefication principle, although that principle also includes inferring better figures as still worse than England.
Beattification, the opposite of Beatification?
One is being raised to Sainthood, the other is being raised to a London correspondent. One is saving souls the other selling your soul.
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Look on the bright side – if the Scottish figure was removed from the UK stat then the position of the UK would be even lower !
Sorry – is that the bright side or has John Beattie been broadcasting sh*te -again !
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O/T – sort of:
Visitors to this site will be familiar with the endless criticisms of the Cabinet Secretary for Health in the Scottish Government over the performance of NHS Scotland. These come from the corporate media and BBC Scotland, and from opposition politicians in Holyrood. I accept their right to criticise but for as long as Scotland remains within the UK – and supposedly ‘better together’ for it – I will argue that providing context, perspective and comparative assessments with England is legitimate and necessary.
Amongst the critics, prominent is the Tory health spokesperson and part-time medic, Sandesh Gulhane MSP. Perhaps a new report from the National Audit Office (NAO) on the state of the publicly-funded health service in England will interest him. It might be pointing him towards a ‘big breakthrough opportunity’ for his political career.
Given the bleak findings, perhaps his Tory colleagues in government in Westminster will finally get round to taking advantage of the silver bullet solutions he seems to imply are available to cure the ills of NHS Scotland IF ONLY the Scottish Government would listen to his words of wisdom!
Source: National Audit Office (17 Nov 2022) Managing NHS backlogs and waiting times in England.
Here are some key extracts: ‘At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHS in England had NOT MET ITS ELECTIVE WAITING TIME PERFORMANCE STANDARD FOR FOUR YEARS, NOR ITS FULL SET OF EIGHT OPERATIONAL STANDARDS FOR CANCER SERVICES FOR SIX YEARS.’ (my emphasis)
‘In February 2022, NHS England (NHSE) published a plan to recover elective and cancer care over the three years up to March 2025. IT HAS RECEIVED FUNDING FOR THIS RECOVERY, which is taking place at a time when the NHS is MANAGING OTHER MAJOR PRESSURES, including ONGOING EFFECTS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, ACCESS TO PRIMARY CARE, THE PERFORMANCE OF URGENT AND EMERGENCY CARE, WORKFORCE GAPS, AND PROBLEMS WITH THE SUPPLY OF ADULT SOCIAL CARE.’
However: ‘.. activity so far in 2022 has CONTINUED TO LAG BEHIND THE PRE-PANDEMIC LEVEL and is WELL BELOW THE PLANNED TRAJECTORY. To a significant degree, this is DUE TO AN OPERATING CONTEXT THAT IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN NHSE ALLOWED FOR in its plans.’
‘The NHS’s funding package is being eroded by inflation, so that its OVERALL FUNDING UP TO 2024-25 IS SET TO GROW MORE SLOWLY THAN THE LONG-TERM AVERAGE IN REAL TERMS. Given progress to date, we are concerned that the 129% activity target and the target to eliminate all waits of longer than 52 weeks by 2025 are AT SERIOUS RISK OF NOT BEING ACHIEVED. There are significant threats to the recovery, including the effects of strain on the workforce, UNCERTAINTIES about whether new initiatives will be able to deliver results as quickly as NHSE needs them to, and the pressures elsewhere in the NHS and adult social care.’
The NAO also states: ‘NHSE’s elective recovery programme partly relies on initiatives which have potential but for which THERE IS SO FAR LIMITED EVIDENCE OF EFFECTIVENESS’
‘Between the start of April and August 2022, the NHS was on track to achieve its target to INCREASE THE USE OF INDEPENDENT PROVIDERS for elective care, including diagnostics and day-case activity, to REACH MORE THAN 120% OF THE LEVEL SEEN IN THE EQUIVALENT PERIOD IN 2019-20.’
‘NHSE has estimated that, in 2021, THE NHS WAS AROUND 16% LESS PRODUCTIVE THAN BEFORE THE PANDEMIC. Some of this RESULTS DIRECTLY FROM THE PANDEMIC, for example INCREASED SICKNESS ABSENCE AND INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL MEASURES. An internal NHSE review has identified a range of other causes, including REDUCED WILLINGNESS TO WORK PAID OR UNPAID OVERTIME AND REDUCED MANAGEMENT FOCUS ON COST CONTROL AND OPERATIONAL RIGOUR AS the NHS sought to maximise activity.’
(As an aside, on the NAO conclusion that ‘RESULTS DIRECTLY FROM THE PANDEMIC’, recall this from Alex Cole-Hamilton a short time ago: ‘How dare Humza Yousaf blame covid for an A&E crisis …’!)
If all this had been in an Audit Scotland report on NHS Scotland, imagine the headlines that BBC Scotland’s journalists could have written: imagine the quotes that Dr Gulhane and his ally in talking down NHS Scotland, Ms Baillie could have provided!
Interestingly, the NAO notes: ‘DHSC (Department of Health and Social Care) has an essential part to play too in holding the NHS to account, providing support and challenge as needed.’
So is the DHSC – i.e. the ‘government’ – NOT the prime responsible body for NHS performance in England but rather the NHS trusts?
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“So is the DHSC – i.e. the ‘government’ – NOT the prime responsible body for NHS performance in England but rather the NHS trusts?”
Guardian.com 7th Dec 2021
Dr. Allyson Pollock
Ten years ago, Andrew Lansley’s health and social care bill to reorganise the NHS in England faced enormous opposition. The current health and care bill, which has its second reading in the House of Lords today, has received far less attention. But it is no less significant. The new bill will continue the dismantling of the NHS, this time by adopting more features from the US health system. For anyone who cares about the NHS, this should set off alarm bells.
The proposals mean that for the first time since 1948, parliament will not determine to whom NHS services must be provided. The bill removes the requirement for emergency services to be provided for everybody present in an area. No explanation has been given for getting rid of it./