BBC Scotland’s clear bias exposed: Some Health Secretaries are responsible for child mental health services and others are not


Headlining on BBC Scotland today:

It’s one case in NHS Borders, with a Conservative MP, MSP and council, but promoted to headline after being fed to BBC Scotland by Alex Cole-Hamilton as a platform for another attack on the Health Secretary.

ACH is allowed this:

Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “It is shocking to learn that children and young people are waiting three years to be seen for the mental health treatment they need. This must feel like a lifetime.

“These figures should weight heavy on the shoulders of the health secretary because they show that the current system simply isn’t working.”

He added: “For years, this SNP government has told us about their commitment to mental health but there is very little evidence that this is anything other than bluster.

“Staff are doing their best but there is nowhere near enough resources or early interventions.”

Mr Cole-Hamilton has pushed for a mental health first aider to be available at all phases of education, as well as counsellors available to pupils in all schools.

On the 2nd November , BBC York & North Yorkshire reported:

Children accessing mental health services in York face delays, lost paperwork and inconvenient appointments, according to a report.

Healthwatch York said services were failing to “meet the needs” of parents and children.

According to figures in the Healthwatch report, there were 1,925 children in contact with CAMHS by the end of May 2020, and that figure rose to 2,765 by June 2022.

The report said the system needs better administrative processes, and improved training for teachers and those involved in the initial referral of a child to CAMHS.

It also stated there was a “heavy reliance on self-advocacy or parental advocacy” to ensure a child accessed the care they needed.

“The current process fails to meet the needs of parents and children; for example appointments being given during school drop-off and pick-up times,” it said.

The report included comments from parents about accessing services, with one telling the authors their paperwork had been lost which the parent warned was a “serious breach of data regulations”.

Only Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust is accused. It excuses itself with:

Children’s mental health services across the country have been under a lot of pressure because of the pandemic and there are times we cannot see people as soon as we would like.

No politicians, local or national are contacted. The current PM is one of the local MPs. The Health Secretary is not blamed. No opposition MP accuses the Conservative Government of anything.

In August BBC UK had Camhs deaths expose child mental health unit pressures.

Pressures? Oh OK, we understand. Again no politician accuses or is accused.

It tried BBC Wales, but they seem to have no such delays there to report. Believe that if you will.

What clearer evidence of BBC Scotland bias is there?


7 thoughts on “BBC Scotland’s clear bias exposed: Some Health Secretaries are responsible for child mental health services and others are not

  1. The Tailor’s Dummy is forever stating that ” there is nowhere near enough staff ” in ( take your pick ) mental health , GPs surgeries , ambulances , A+E , Care Homes , etc…
    He states that there should be mental health ”first aiders” in every educational establishment …where does he expect all these additional professionals to come from ? Which budgets will be robbed to pay for them ? And does this sector get priority over every other sector he identifies each week as requiring urgent attention ?
    Sorry , it is not The Tailor’s Dummy’s job to find solutions to the limitless problems he moans about each and every day .
    Sometimes ( not often ) one misses the gap-toothed grin of Wee Willie Rennie as he vents his anger at The Issue of The Day to justify his sinecure at Holyrood . At least he gave us a laugh now and again – The Tailor’s Dummy is as funny as haemorrhoids !


  2. Clear evidence from gormless SCH why some Tory supporters are seemingly changing their allegiance to their Red cousins intsead of the Fib Dems.


  3. In the run up to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the centrist think tank, the Institute for Government (IfG) reviewed the scale and subsequent effects on England’s public services of Tory austerity during the 2010s.

    See: Hoddinott et al ( October 2022) ‘Austerity’ in public services – lessons from the 2010s. Institute for Government. ( )

    Several things are notable from the IfG’s insights: (i) across a broad swathe of public services, austerity has resulted in substantial deterioration – ‘Public services are in a much more fragile position now than in 2010’; (ii) many £billions were ‘saved’ – i.e. cut from support needed for public services – by successive Tory governments during the 2010s; (iii) many of these under-resourced and now poorer quality services – NHS, social care, courts, education, local government, preventative social support – are devolved. Under-resourcing of these services in England during the 2010s will have had a detrimental, knock on effect on the budgets of the governments in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh because of how the Barnett Formula works.

    Relevant to the TuS blog post on mental health services, the IfG notes (with my emphasis): ‘There has also been A WORSENING OF MENTAL HEALTH AMONG STAFF WORKING IN PUBLIC SERVICES OVER THE LAST DECADE. The proportion of available full-time equivalent (FTE) days in the NHS lost due to mental health reasons rose from 0.7% in 2015/16 to 1.3% in 2020/21. This was not just a pandemic effect; the proportion was 1.1% in 2019/20.’

    And again on the effect of the Tory policy choice for austerity: ‘The governments in the 2010s CUT MANY PREVENTATIVE SERVICES but one of the key areas was in children’s services, where SPENDING ON SURE START CENTRES AND YOUTH SERVICES FELL BY 68.9% BETWEEN 2009/10 AND 2020/21. However, this proved something of a false economy, with spending on children’s social care rising by 34.9%49 over the same period.’

    The IfG adds: ‘Similarly, spending on the Supporting People Programme (SPP) – a service designed to allow vulnerable people to live independently – FELL 79% IN REAL TERMS BETWEEN 2009/10 AND 2019/20. In the same period, spending on homelessness services increased 115% in real terms.’

    ‘MANY OF THE PREVENTATIVE AND EARLY-INTERVENTION SERVICES THAT EXISTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 2010S HAVE ALREADY BEEN CUT DEEPLY. The result is that the proportion of budgets spent on acute, demand-led and statutory services has increased.’

    The IfG notes the creeping degradation that results: ‘When many of these cuts were first implemented, there was not an obvious short-term worsening in outcomes; children who did not go to Sure Start centres did not immediately require child protection services, and AN UNDERINVESTMENT IN PREVENTATIVE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES did not instantaneously translate into greater pressure on police to deal with mental health crises. However, the MEDIUM- TO LONG-TERM OUTCOMES ARE NOW BEING FELT: there were 25.6% MORE ‘LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN’ IN 2020/21 THAN IN 2009/10 and police now report spending more time dealing with mental health incidents.’

    ‘Examples are not limited to these two services: there is MORE HOMELESSNESS THAN A DECADE AGO FOLLOWING SPENDING CUTS ON PREVENTATIVE HOUSING SUPPORT, worsening transport links due to reduction of bus and rail subsidies meaning lower productivity, and INCREASING COMPLEXITY OF CONDITIONS FOR PEOPLE IN THE HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SYSTEMS DUE TO POOR COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL CARE PROVISION.’

    The broad scope and large scale of the under-resourcing in England of public services in the 2010s is identified by the IfG. Given many of these under-resourced, deteriorating services are devolved, austerity places the governments in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh in invidious positions. And as the IfG identifies in England, Tory austerity in the 2010s is likely to have left a negative legacy in the other nations of the UK..

    It’s one thing for a devolved government to tweak its own distribution of (mis-called) ‘block grant’ funds when reduction in funding from Westminster is relatively small or growth in funding is just below the usual trend. But when Westminster’s austerity measures are large and pervasive in scope – recall, the IfG identifies under-resourcing in England across NHS, social care, courts, education, local government, preventative social support – and when austerity is so clearly damaging to services in England, the powers of devolved governments in NI, Scotland and Wales are simply not adequate to counter, to mitigate, all the consequent harms that arise.

    If England chooses governments that opt to under-resource England’s public services – content as a consequence to see the deterioration of these services – then NI, Scotland and Wales will experience substantial difficulties in sustaining the quality of their own public services even though these services are ‘devolved’!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Headline elsewhere – “Scottish public waiting over a decade for mental health treatment for BBC in Scotland propagandists”

    I’m convinced SG introduced minimum alcohol pricing because the couldn’t interfere with what is now HMS James Cook’s output as “national (impartial🤣) broadcaster.
    – Any who listen the endless droning of “Linesman for the County” monologues of “In my opinion… “, or read the umpteenth diatribe from Lizzy Winters despite NHS Scotland’s exemplary performance might be forgiven for reaching for the nearest and quickest anaesthesia.
    Unlike the illegal substances partaken by “Dad-Dancers” in Aberdeen night-clubs, Buckfast is legally available.

    There will always be those who will fall through the cracks in any system, after all the BBC in Scotland and ACH-him had always been expected to be honest, in journalism and politics respectively, look how that turned out…


  5. There is no “BBC Scotland”.

    What we have is a propaganda outlet for UK Imperialism.
    The BBC dont use context, unless it shows Scotland in a bad light.
    Ditto perspective.
    The BBC makes zero effort to place Scotland in the wider European stage with other similar sized countries.

    What “share” of our licence fee is spent in Scotland.
    Compare it to England.
    How many people who live in Scotland are employed as presenters on UK-wide BBC stations–radio or TV?
    Radio 2/4/5. BBC 24. Network News.
    Indeed how many Scots are employed as a % of the workforce in Scotland by the BBC?


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