The black art of BBC news management before our eyes

Triggle-down health figures


Yesterday the BBC News website had this headline: ‘NHS plan: £1bn for hospital beds and ambulance fleet’. Beneath we learned what the Westminster government is now promising:

‘It has set goals that by March 2024: 76% of A&E patients will be dealt with in four hours. Currently fewer than 70% are. The official target is 95%.’

Now given that the same article indicates that the most recent statistic for this performance metric has been c. 65% or better when the ACTUAL figure for the major (Type 1) emergency departments was JUST 49% in December 2022 (‘England’s great hidden statistic’!), it is likely that the promised 76% will be based on ALL and not just the major emergency departments in England. (76% – isn’t the precision impressive?)

So for perspective: 76% by March 2024 – over a year away – in England; NHS Scotland, during a week in bleak January 2023, for its MAJOR (Type 1 equivalent) departments is already achieving 70.1%!

The BBC News website displays today’s ‘good news’ on A&E waits in Scotland in a ‘noteworthy’ manner:

– on the main Scotland page after just two hours the summary, with its link to the full article, is to be found three row down i.e. it’s not prominently displayed even though this topic has been front and centre of BBC Scotland’s news coverage for months – when it suited the BBC to make it so!

– this news story is nowhere to be seen on the main politics page for Scotland: (i) even though previous articles on A&E waits have typically appeared prominently in the politics section; and (ii) even through a much older article about NHS Scotland – ‘Five big problems the NHS in Scotland needs to fix’ – still appears on the main politics page.

I note in the same article, presumably to undermine the significance of the Scotland-wide statistic, the BBC journalist adds: ‘However, two hospitals treated FEWER THAN HALF of A&E patients within the four hour target.’ (my emphasis)

For perspective, in December 2022 FEWER THAN HALF OF NHS England’s Type 1 attendances met the 4 hour standard but the BBC was SILENT on this!

And why did the BBC decide NOT to inform us that in NHS Tayside 91.6% of patients – yes, a surely exemplary 91.6% – attending its major A&E departments were treated within the 4 hour standard during the most recent week? Has BBC Scotland ever referred to the consistently high level of performance in Tayside’s A&E departments and then sought to answer the obvious question, why?

Will the BBC’s Mr Triggle now be naming the worst performing NHS Trusts and hospitals in England every month in addition to quoting the (problematic) national figure – just for perspective you know?

The black art of BBC news management before our eyes – again! The blatant is now their norm!


9 thoughts on “The black art of BBC news management before our eyes

  1. Expecting the BBC to report ( fairly ) the Scottish A & E stats is like expecting a former Tory Chancellor to admit that he fiddled his taxes !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. £1Billion. The NHS needs £10Billion. The Tories wasted over £15Billion+ on PPE Not fit for purpose. £40Billion is lost to tax evasion. £Billion in Trident and illegal weapons Defence contracts. Not fit for purpose. A war in Europe now being fanned with lies. Johnston.causing havoc for illegal donations. Brexit losing £Billions. The Tories cut NHS funding from 2015 to 2020 instead of increasing it. Funding NHS £125Billion, Westminster Treasury spending £918Billion 2019/20. Claim to not have enough monies to pay essential workers. UK whole Gov Accounts 2019/20. Published June 2022.

    The Tories have underfunded the NHS for years. Trying to cut the budget, instead of increasing it. The mismanaged pandemic. Brexit losing £Billions, The Scottish Gov has to try to mitigate the cuts and loses. Unless Scotland votes for Independence.


  3. The BBC run by Tories for donations. Westminster illegal propaganda. Without a free and fair Press there is no Democracy, MSM owned by corrupt tax evading non Dom’s, Westminster lies.


  4. BBC UK Gov propaganda. Westminster appoints Tories for donations, corruption and scandal. Supposed to be independent and unbiased.


  5. Can you not submit all the evidence and exemplars you have ammassed over the covid years to Ofcom?
    The BBC, particularly the Scottish Branch, have been massaging ‘news’ to maintain a negative view of the SNHS and allying this to negativity on the SG.
    Given Sunak’s recent pronouncements of ambition on targets for the English NHS A&E performance for March 2024 as being fractionally above what SNHS recorded last week this should be reverberating around the airwaves.
    By the way, didn’t he say in his speech this week that his aspired targets were
    ‘by next March’? That’s next month isn’t it? 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

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