EIGHT good news stories about Glasgow hospitals and all missed by BBC Scoptland

Today, we hear from our Glasgow Health Correspondent, Brian McGowan:

The Gynaecology Team from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow has been recognised for their care of hard of hearing patients. The team was highly commended in the first ever awards by the Forth Valley Hearing Access Forum. The awards acknowledge individuals and organisations which have ‘broken down barriers’ and made experiences better for deaf people. Alison Delaney, chair of the Forth Valley Hearing Access Forum, comments: “Poor hearing access is impacting on individuals everywhere. But it doesn’t need to be like this as these Awards show. Our wish for the coming year is that people have more uplifting and positive experiences and far fewer experiences that eat away at well-being, independence and dignity.

Regular readers will know that this is only the latest in a sequence of positive reports on Glasgow hospitals. See:

Glasgow’s hospitals miles better but ignored by BBC Scotland again

NHS Glasgow and Greater Clyde (NHSGGC) is embracing a person centred visiting approach across hospitals to enhance patient wellbeing and recovery as part of its tailored individual care model – ‘Person Centred Visiting’ (PCV).

BBC Scotland miss another good news story about the NHS in Glasgow

From our Senior Health Researcher, Brian McGowan: A senior Glasgow doctor has just completed his 8th trip to Malawi, taking life-saving equipment and expertise to help patients with serious upper gastrointestinal disease. Prof. Adrian Stanley, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, took with him a number of endoscopes donated by NHSGGC to help patients suffering


By: Ronald Maclean, Island of Lewis, a story of one man’s treatment, lacking the ‘public interest’ that the Reporting Scotland editor desires. Now if he could modify the story and introduce excessive delays and a bird-related infection leading to his near-death, then….. I live some distance from major medical centres. I was recently referred from

225th birthday of one of best hospitals in the world and it’s in Glasgow but BBC Scotland ignore it again

TuS Health Correspondent: Brian McGowan From NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde yesterday: Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) has celebrated its 225th birthday with the unveiling of a commemorative mural documenting its rich history and positive impact on healthcare.The hospital has been serving the public since 1794 and today symbolises one of the busiest and best equipped

New cancer treatment research centre for Glasgow

Research: Brian McGowan From NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde yesterday: Glasgow scientists have been awarded a major cash boost from Cancer Research UK to pioneer new radiotherapy technologies and techniques that could help more people survive cancer in the future. Experts from the Cancer Research UK Glasgow Centre are set to receive £3.5 million over

Scotland’s depressed media look away as TWO Glasgow mental health wards are praised

I hope my use of the term ‘depressed’ is not inappropriate. As well as using it to grab your attention, I’m using the word here to point to the physical way in which editorial preferences for bad news about NHS Scotland lead to stories like this being depressed and disappeared. BBC Scotland, STV, the Herald

Like Cryptococcus neoformans in or around every hospital there is still a sickening sub-culture in Pacific Quay

I return to this theme often as my latest evidence of BBC bias is attributed to a paranoid conspiracy culture which I embrace. Like Chomsky, I have never pointed to any media conspiracy and like him, I know you don’t need one to get the kind of biases prevalent in our MSM. Anyhow, ‘everybody’ tells

Scotland's oil could last 150 years!


From reader Clydebuilt:

A 2014 article in Bella Caledonia by William C. McLaughlin predicted the oil and gas fields in Scotland’s Atlantic Margin will last for between 100 to 150 yrs depending on rate of extraction:

Its an enormous piece of work, but its conclusion is worth a read.

To conclude, the oil and gas potential of the Scottish Atlantic Margin is VAST, and the article contained expert evidence to prove this assertion. However, the Scottish North Sea is often used as an area for certain individuals to `bleat` about “declining“ Scottish oil and gas reserves and revenues. The web site http://www.petroleum.co.uk (2014) contains a quote which will silence the gloom and doom merchants. It states, “The North Sea crude oil fields are still fairly full and are arguably, the second most influential oilfield (in the world) in economic terms“. Not much “declining“ there, is there? Add this to the Scottish Atlantic Margin oil and gas reserves and it will be a VERY LONG TIME indeed before Scottish oil and gas reserves come anywhere near “declining“. As the writer stated previously, try an estimate of 100-150 years for starters, depending on extraction rates.

For Scotland, there is everything to “play“ for, and the rewards for an independent Scotland will not only be SIGNIFICANT, but IMMENSELY SIGNIFICANT. London has had its chance, and blown it big time by `criminally` squandering Scottish oil and gas revenues.

From The National, 3rd Jan. Letters to The Editor

DID you spot the false news in the press just before the New Year? The headline proclaimed “Scotland’s oil boom can last another 30 years”, and of course this is based solely on the Scottish North Sea. Not a squeak about the Scottish Atlantic Margin (SAM) oil and gas sector, which eclipses the Scottish North Sea many, many times over.

The headline should have proclaimed: “Scottish oil boom can last at least another 100 years or more”. The SAM fields west of Shetland could last 70 or 80 years or more, and the entire SAM oil/gas sector could last 200 years or more. We are talking about oil fields in Scottish waters being the largest in north-west Europe, and the largest in the world. It is so convenient to use only the Scottish North Sea and a short time limit of only 30 years, so people will ask “why should I vote for indy when there is only 30 years of Scottish oil left?”

When we get to the end of that 30 years, there will be another 30 years, then another 30, and another, and so on. Fake news is a wonderful thing if you’re daft enough to believe it!

William C McLaughlin

Here’s the hard evidence on tax the Scotsman lets their ‘columnist’ Murdo Fraser get away with ignoring

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The Scotsman makes a habit of presenting nakedly ideological pieces from the likes of Tory councillors, Brexit MEPs and Labour advisers as somehow professional journalism. At least with Murdo Fraser, some readers will know who he is and that this is just another Conservative Party press release of mutual benefit only to them and to the hard-pressed team at the Scotsman.

At least Fraser isn’t going for Kate’s alleged ‘pro-life’ beliefs but then he’ll be tired of the many times he might as well have aborted his own guaranteed-to-lose electoral campaigns. Too far? My Humour Adviser, F. Boyle Jnr (14) says ‘Anything goes if it gets a laugh Grandad!’

Seriously though, here are the facts:


Roughly speaking, people in Scotland pay less income tax than the rest of the UK on earnings below £27,000 a year, and more income tax on earnings above that. The differences are relatively marginal though.


Car Parking:

Research conducted by the RAC Foundation suggests parking fees and fines produced a collective surplus of £756m last year for 353 local councils in England. That’s a 34% increase since 2011.

Hospitals in England are making hundreds of millions of pounds from car parking charges, with more than 40% of NHS trusts increasing the cost of a stay in the past year. An investigation using freedom of information requests found some trusts have doubled the price of car parking for patients and visitors. Such parking charges have been abolished in Wales and most of Scotland.


Historic Sites:

You’ll pay nothing to visit many of Scotland’s top attractions. Plenty of them are free to enter, and there’s an array of free events and experiences to enjoy too. Explore castles, museums, art galleries and more, all for free, on a day out that won’t leave you out of pocket. It’s on us.



UK (English] museums to introduce entrance fees in 2016 following Government cuts


Fraser might also want to consider what his Westminster chums plan for higher earners like him:

High earners could be stripped of 40 per cent of their pension tax relief in next month’s budget, as part of the government’s pledge to “level up” the economy. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and newly-appointed Chancellor Rishi Sunak are to meet for detailed budget talks for the first time on Wednesday 19 February, with the pair said to be keen to relax spending rules. The Treasury is understood to have drawn up plans to cut the rate of relief for higher earners from 40 per cent down to 20 per cent, in a move which would raise £10 billion per year.


How Good Morning Scotland played us for fools in 2014 with their 3 to 1 bias and the cost of keeping Eastenders

Seeing the Herald headline story above, I was cast back to a piece of research I did into Good Morning Scotland’s coverage of issues around the forthcoming referendum. They will have to go some this time round if they’re to manage the level of naked propaganda they achieved then. The full horror of their 3 to 1 bias can be found here with examples starting on page 32:


Over the space of 1 month, April 2014, 376 statements could be coded as negative for the Yes campaign, whereas only 147 could be coded as negative for Better Together. The 3 to 1 ratio was also seen in interrupts where Yes supporters were interrupted 34 times, whereas Better Together supporters were only interrupted 10 times. Perhaps the most extreme example was when James Naughtie, brought back north to toughen up the team, aggressively interrupted Nicola Sturgeon 7 times in one interview.

Some of the other low points, were these interviews:

On 12th April:
Visiting Professor in Media Policy at Glasgow Caledonian University was interviewed
by Graham Stewart on Scottish broadcasting after independence. The interview
followed on from an exchange with the current DG of Irish broadcaster RTE, Kevin
Backhurst. Backhurst had given a very informative fact-based and contemporary
account of RTE’s self-sufficiency and quite limited need to buy from BBC – only
Eastenders! Stewart’s questioning fairly presented the Scottish Government’s position,
from the White Paper, on a future relationship with the BBC and refrained from the
aggressive, interrupting style of some of his colleagues. Hutcheson’s responses,
however, were long, one-sided, more polemical than academic and doom-laden for
Scottish audiences but devoid of evidence despite predicting confidently with
numbers. Referring twice to the need to ‘do the sums’ without ever offering the
elements of these sums, Hutcheson went on to assure Scots that they would be paying
up to £250 as opposed to the current £150 for a TV licence – ‘it’s gonna cost us a lot

Image PH

Similarly, the interview of Lord Robertson by James Naughtie on the 8th allows the former to make a number of confident predictions authenticated only by his previous experience and unchallenged by Naughtie. On the 11th, Naughtie goes on to interview former Pentagon adviser, Frank Miller, whose equally negative views are simply accepted with none of the background on Miller one would expect from a journalist. A quick internet search reveals, in a peer-reviewed source (Sauer, 2005: 22), Miller as a bullish, superannuated, cold warrior still thinking fondly of how his championing of mutually assured destruction had won against more nuanced defence strategies in his time in the Pentagon in the 1960s to 1980s, thirty years ago. On the same day, Naughtie
himself, claims that the wider world is watching Scotland based, one must assume, on
his interviews with two defence hawks now detached from current realities in NATO.
Also on the same day, Glen Campbell refers to only a ‘slight’ narrowing of the polls
despite evidence of a gap which according to a New Statesman report in April, has
narrowed from 24 to 8.

If you have the time, the full extent is shockingly worth a wee reminder of just how far they went then (page 32 on):


Scottish Government infrastructure project cuts congestion, journey times and pollution

Image Aberdeen Voice

Ludo Thierry

The 1st anniversary of the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Road has seen stats released which demonstrate an even greater reduction in HGV traffic on the target routes than was anticipated. This massive project was edged into place by the SNP Scottish Govt in the teeth of massive political opposition from ALL the usual suspects. (Proof positive that ‘smart’ road building projects can deliver green benefits and economic benefits at the same time – these ‘goods’ are not, necessarily, mutually exclusive). Link and snippets below:


Transport Scotland has released an informational snapshot on the first anniversary of the AWPR fully opening to traffic (February 19) indicating that HGV traffic has significantly reduced on the A92 (previously the A90) since the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project fully opened to traffic.

Depending on the location, HGV traffic along the A92 corridor through Aberdeen has reduced between 49 per cent and 61 per cent when comparing January to June 2019 data with comparable 2014 data.

This reduction is greater than the 20 to 36 per cent reduction originally predicted and suggests that the AWPR/B-T may be more successful than anticipated in attracting HGV traffic from the local road network.

Welcoming the news Gillian Martin MSP said: “The opening of the AWPR last year has been a huge investment for the north-east, reducing pollution and cutting journey times for commuters.

“The biggest positive has been reduced congestion, and this will have health and safety benefits, as well as making a real difference to people’s work life balance, and I say that as someone who commuted into Aberdeen from the ‘shire for over twenty years!”

Scottish Funding Council and Cabinet Secretary's first attack on university remuneration abuse?

Ludo Thierry

There’s a rather complex story being carried by beeb Scotland about the Scottish Funding Council recouping £119,000 of grant previously given to Aberdeen University. The funding has been pulled back due to highly questionable (and lacking transparency) retirement payment arrangements made with the former University Principal. (Naturally – once expensively ‘retired’ the individual concerned takes up another ‘big job’ – this time heading up the UK Statistics Authority.)

To my mind the most salient (and encouraging) issue is that the Scottish Funding Council (backed hard by the Cabinet Secretary) are, finally, daring to question things and ruffle some feathers. For far, far, too long the Scottish Universities’ senior management teams have been able to arrange these remuneration packages to, seemingly, suit themselves with no obvious scrutiny or accountability in place. Here’s hoping this might be the start of a trend. The Aberdeen Evening Express version is rather better delineated than the beeb’s messy reportage. Link and snippets below:


The University of Aberdeen confirmed £119,000 has been handed over (returned to the Scottish Funding Council) following a review of the settlement agreed with Professor Sir Ian Diamond.

Sir Ian, who first revealed his intention to retire in August 2017, received £610,000 in remuneration for 2017-18, as well as a £60,000 payment for “outplacement support”.

(NOTE: He became chief executive of the UK Statistics Authority after he retired from the university).

The SFC said it had decided to review the payment “because the financial statements did not appear to accord with our understanding of the principal’s retirement and we were not satisfied with the university’s response to our initial inquiries”.

It found that when it came to approving the terms of the settlement agreement there was no “documented assessment of value for money”.

The University of Aberdeen paid for two principals in 2018-19, it was noted, with Sir Ian on “gardening leave” while his successor was in place.

The SFC said: “By defining the former principal’s ‘formal’ notice date as the date immediately preceding both the successor principal taking up his post and the former principal moving to a 12-month period of ‘gardening leave’, the university incurred the cost of two principals over the 2018-19 financial year.

“In addition, over the 2017-18 financial year, the principal received his full salary while having significantly fewer duties and responsibilities than those constituting the full role of principal, and we have seen no evidence that the value for money consequences of that arrangement were assessed.”

Higher education minister Richard Lochhead said it was “clearly unacceptable that the University of Aberdeen did not meet its grant conditions, nor the highest standards of transparency that we expect of organisations which benefit from public funds”.

He said: “The report finds that payments were made to Professor Diamond without appropriate approvals and without documented assessment of value for money.

“I do not believe the impact should be borne by the student or staff bodies and I therefore urge the university to consider whether it can recoup these funds.” (ie get the dough back from the retired Prof. Sir Ian Diamond – should we hold our collective breath? – always worth asking, I suppose.)

The death of this child is NOT linked to the water supply by any professional expert. Anas Sarwar IS linked to nausea

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Let’s start with a fact:

‘We have fully tested the water supply and ward surfaces in Ward 6A and also reviewed individual infections and found no links between individual infections and no source of infections in the ward.’

Jane Grant, Chief Executive, NHSGGC, 1 December 2019

BBC Reporting Scotland have returned to this tragic case to further milk it morbidly after spending ten days on it in December. Accompanied with heart-breaking exploitative footage, once more, we hear:

‘Health Board bosses in Glasgow have referred the death of 10 year-old Milly Main to prosecutors. The move came after her family wrote to the Lord Advocate to call for a fatal accident inquiry following revelations about infections linked to the water supply at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.’

To be clear, only those unqualified to do so, the parents, Anas Sarwar and some journalists, have ‘linked’ any infections to any water supply. The link is journalistic, not scientific and, more worryingly for patient and staff morale, it’s wrong. There is no meaningful link. The referral to the prosecutors is because there is no scientific link and, so, still being accused by the unqualified, it has no choice but to pass it on.

The fuller website report uses the word ‘link’ eight times, only once to recognise the Health Board’s rebuttal. Seven times the inaccurate suggestion of a link is repeated.

Sickeningly and astonishingly brass-necked, Anas Sarwar, accuses the Health Board of cynicism. You have to laugh if you manage to keep your stomach down.


BBC Scotland reporting on police budget increase only serves to scare us and not to inform

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Number one story today and many times today, the Scottish Police Authority wants more money despite getting twice as big an increase as they had expected. Typically, the reporting has virtually no context to help us understand what it means for our lived experience. Here are some data that might make you feel a bit more secure:

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Scotland’s Chief Statistician has published statistics on Police Officer Quarterly Strength, which gives the number of full-time equivalent police officers employed by Police Scotland. The key findings of the statistics are:

there were 17,256 full-time equivalent (FTE) police officers in Scotland on 30 September 2019

police officer numbers increased by 108 FTE officers (+0.6%) in the last year from 30 September 2018

an increase of 1,022 FTE police officers (+6.3%) from the 16,234 FTE police officers recorded at 31 March 2007


Scotland’s police officers received a 6.5% 31-month pay deal, announced in September 2018 and described by the Scottish Police Federation as the greatest single increase in police pay for over 20 years; This compared with 2% for English and Welsh officers in 2018 and 2.5% in 2019. The basic starting salary for new constables in Scotland is £26,037, in contrast to £20,880 in England and Wales.


OK, nothing there for the wee news rodents. What about absence due to stress?



I know! What about public satisfaction with Police Scotland?



Assaults ON police officers!?



Surge in Gaelic

Ludo Thierry

Ed: Thought I should translate ‘Surge in Gaelic’ into Gaelic so I did.

STV News picks up on the story of the surge in interest in learning Gaelic that is becoming evident. Link and snippet below: (I wouldn’t anticipate this info getting an airing on beeb Scotland – but we live in hope):


A surge in the number of people taking up Gaelic in the last 18 months has raised fresh hopes for the revival of the historic Scots language.

Community leaders say interest is at its highest in the past decade and are welcoming the introduction of online learning platforms, which are helping to swell the numbers of speakers.

One factor being credited with a recent spike is online language tutorial service, Duolingo. The global service launched a Gaelic version on November 30.

Around 200,000 people have signed up to learn the language in just 11 weeks.

Hugh Dan MacLennan of the Royal Celtic Society said: “There’s a very much more widespread interest in Gaelic than there has been over the last ten years.

The last census in 2011 showed 60,000 people spoke the language.

Registrations for Gaelic classes from Glasgow Life have doubled in the last two years with around 400 people engaging in weekly classes throughout the city.

Organisers say demand is currently outstripping supply, with waiting lists for beginners’ classes.

A fourth Gaelic school is also in the pipeline for Glasgow due to demand for Gaelic medium education.

At the turn of the century more than 230,000 people spoke Gaelic, with around 30,000 using it as their only language. (I’m suspecting this is loose language – and that the 230,000 speakers refers to the year 1900 rather than the year 2000 – but I’d like to be wrong!)

The number of speakers has gradually declined in the intervening years and was at its lowest in 2011.

But a rising interest in the past decade has led to major interventions to sustain the level of new speakers, including a recent decision by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to make Gaelic the default language until primary four in all schools.

Children will still be taught in English if the parents choose to opt out.

It’s hoped the surge in interest might be reflected in the census of 2021, which could result in the number of speakers increasing for only the second time since the turn of the 20th century.

Scots lawyer appointed to court in the Hague. BBC still not looking

Ludo Thierry

Ed: Scots judge to UN, Scots lawyers to Norway and Netherlands but no media interest.

Eminent Scottish Lawyer is appointed as a Panel Arbitrator with the international Court of Arbitration for Art (based in The Hague): Link and snippet below:


John Campbell QC appointed panel arbitrator at art court in The Hague

The court has grown out of a series of conferences and discussions within the Authentication in Art Mediation Board and the Dutch Institute for Arbitration, and is now established as an independent legal entity.

It is the world’s only dispute resolution body dedicated to the resolution of artistic disagreements, authenticity claims, copyright and IP disputes in art, chains of contract, and provenance and title disputes arising in any field of artistic endeavour.

Applications for appropriate dispute resolution services will be heard by experienced arbitrators, mediators and dispute resolvers with ADR experience in areas of disagreement such as auction and market disputes, forensic science, fraud and provenance issues, as well as ownership, copyright, and plagiarism disputes.

The court will generally operate under the Netherlands Arbitration Institute Rules and the AiA Adjunct Rules, but in principle, there is no reason why parties should not select the ADR rules they wish to apply.

Mr Campbell said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as a Panel Arbitrator, and look forward to perhaps bringing some of this very interesting work to Scotland, where the arbitration facilities and support services are second to none. Getting it right and gaining the respect of the market in a transparent and fair manner at reasonable cost, and in complete confidence are CafA’s key objectives.”

Scotland In Europe – Europe wants Scotland and Scotland wants to be in Europe – Let’s keep finding ways to make it happen.


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So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable. - Aldous Huxley

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