11 years after SNP replaced Labour outsourcing folly on hospital catering, food-related disease outbreaks wiped out

This week Labour’s Monica Lennon asked the Scottish Government how much each NHS board pays to private contractors for hospital catering services. (S5W-24708). Jeanne Freeman’s response in a table showed that around 11 million was outsourced. I was reminded then of how Labour had started all this and the SNP had begun to put a stop to it in 2008:

The Scottish Government today banned private contractors from tendering for catering and cleaning deals at NHS hospitals with immediate effect. In a guidance note to Scotland’s 14 health authorities, John Matheson, director of health finance at the Health Finance Directorate, stated that cleaning and catering played a key role in the delivery of clinical services in the NHS in Scotland. Existing contracts for the provision of services are not affected by this guidance. Last year Scotland spent £46m on catering at its 64 general hospitals, although this figure includes both public and private caterers. 

Most important however was this intention in 2008:

The [SNP] secretary claims bringing catering and soft service in house are the only effective way to eradicate super-bugs, such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile from Scotland’s hospitals.

https://www.thecaterer.com/articles/324126/scottish-government-bans-private-contractors-from-servicing-nhs-hospitals

Then in June 2019, Labour’s Lennon asked how many hospital-acquired infections have been connected to food products. The SNP Health Secretary was able to reply that there had been NO hospital-related foodborne outbreaks in the past five years.

https://www.parliament.scot/S5ChamberOffice/WA20190619.pdf

So, 11 years after the SNP began to replace Labour privatisation folly on hospital catering, where they legally could do so, food-related disease outbreaks have been wiped out.

Scotrail offers UK’s most crime-free experience by some way!

Crime is falling on only one UK railway network – D Division! What, is that Scotland? It is:

While British Transport Police record crimes across 12 different categories, travellers will also be please to see that violence against the person and sexual offences are falling in Scotland in line with a wider reduction of crime across the country in the last 10 or more years:

http://media.btp.police.uk/r/16745/british_transport_police_releases_annual_crime_st

Why is Scotland not mentioned in the table?

And, crime was already much lower on D Division Scotland’s trains. England has 10 times the population so all things being equal might be expected to have 10 times the crime on its railways. Scotland had 1668 crimes in 2018/19 so England on that basis would have 16 680. From the data here, it had 65 099! The rate of crime on England’s railway system is 4 times higher than in Scotland.

How BBC UK saw the report from the BTP:

But hey the Herald only 18 minutes after we posted!

STV beats us by 20 minutes. Some young person on speed?

Are there fewer crime assaults against NHS Scotland staff because they’re more effective and better staffed?

In the Guardian yesterday:

In the latest available annual NHS staff survey, from last year, 14.5% of staff said they had experienced physical violence from patients, their relatives or the public. But the trade union, Unison, believes many incidents are going unreported. Its research with the Health Service Journal, based on freedom of information requests from all NHS trusts in England in 2016-17, found physical assaults on NHS hospital staff had risen 9.7% since 2015-16. The figures suggested that, on average, there were just over 200 reported violent attacks on NHS workers every day.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/04/violence-nhs-staff-face-routine-assault-intimidation?CMP=share_btn_link

The situation in NHS Scotland is significantly different:

Convictions for violence and/or aggression toward NHS Scotland staff have fallen from 301 in 2008/9 to 190 in 2017/18, a fall of 37% in 9 years. NHS Scotland has 160 000 staff, so convictions are at 0.11875%.

https://www.parliament.scot/S5ChamberOffice/WA20190726.pdf

There has been a particularly welcomed and dramatic fall, 35% in only 5 years, in attacks on emergency workers, again in line with overall crime reduction in Scotland after more than a decade of SNP-rule. See:

Why? Perceptions of inequality are strongly associated with problems such as violent crime. Has the SG government, within the UK straight-jacket, had some effect on reducing a commonly shared sense of inequality? See this for more:

https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/SpiritLevel-jpg_0.pdf

More likely? NHS Scotland is just more effective with fewer delays and more staff. That must surely mean fewer situations where perhaps some scared patient tries the only thing they know to get attention?

Support for independence too close to call averaging 50% WITHOUT 16/17-year-olds in three polls now

The Lord Ashcroft poll on 30 July – 2 August 2019 put support for independence at 52%.

Two YouGov polls in April 2019 and yesterday both put support at 49%.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/04549dc4-ce9a-11e9-bac7-3a108794927b

These three, averaging at exactly 50%, coming after YouGov polls in 2017 and 2018 consistently putting support at 44% and without predominantly independence supporting 16 and 17 year-olds, suggest a real trend and one that puts the Union in serious jeopardy.

Scotsman journalism in crisis as NHS vacancies are distorted and presented out of context

I know, I’m repeating myself but the above witless headline is causing angry reflux so, for the second time today:

Vacancies are normal. The question is, is the system strong enough to cope with them? See:

SHOCK Scotland has far more staff including consultants and GPs per head of population

As Tory-run NHS England loses staff in record numbers, SNP-run NHS Scotland is in surplus for sixth year in a row

NHS Scotland has many fewer operations cancelled due to staffing or resources capacity

New fun for researcher as qualified doctor staffing is up almost 20% under SNP!

Already better-staffed NHS Scotland doctor training meeting recruitment targets

As NHS England is pulled into ethnic nationalist self-destruction why there is no Scottish crisis in nurse staffing

Scotland’s nursing and midwifery staffing and student recruitment are Miles better!

10% of the population yet 13.2% of the paediatricians: why the health of Scotland’s children is NOT being put at risk by staff shortages 

Scotland has 10% of the population but 17% of the health visitors and fewer post-natal deaths after SNP government increases staffing by 25%

Stunning 91% achievement by NHS Scotland A&E, 12% better than NHS England

Despite attendances climbing by 16% from February 2019, NHS Scotland Accident and Emergency departments have maintained performance at 91.2% seen within 4 hours throughout July 2019.

https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Emergency-Care/Publications/2019-09-03/Summary/index.asp

In NHS England, type 1 departments (comparable to NHS Scotland units) only 78.9% were seen within the target time of 4 hours.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/ae-attendances-and-emergency-admissions-2019-20/

Scottish Tories get their own barnet formula as Carlaw gets flushed

Acting-it Tory Leader Jackson Carlaw is clearly sensitive about his gammonicity. Yesterday the First Minister innocently said:

“I think it is probably embarrassment that is making his face go a little bit red when he looks at the achievements of this government compared to the achievement of his own party which is so obsessed with Brexit it’s forgotten how to do anything else. “Carlaw responded: “Not my skin tone again. Listen First Minister, at least I’ve got a full head of my own naturally coloured hair.”

So, a bit thin-skinned about his flushing, Carlaw seems happier with his barnet and he has previous in weaponizing it. See this from 2016:

Is this an emerging strategy (from a fringe group) to win votes? Tories have better hair? See:

It’s clearly not a cover-up:

I’ll leave readers to think about the obvious barnet flaw at the very top of the party

NHS Scotland medical vacancies remain modest in context

NHS Scotland yesterday in the Herald and covered doomily on STV and BBC Scotland News, above. In the Express in April on NHS England below:

Vacancies are normal. The question is, is the system strong enough to cope with them? See:

SHOCK Scotland has far more staff including consultants and GPs per head of population

As Tory-run NHS England loses staff in record numbers, SNP-run NHS Scotland is in surplus for sixth year in a row

NHS Scotland has many fewer operations cancelled due to staffing or resources capacity

New fun for researcher as qualified doctor staffing is up almost 20% under SNP!

Already better-staffed NHS Scotland doctor training meeting recruitment targets

As NHS England is pulled into ethnic nationalist self-destruction why there is no Scottish crisis in nurse staffing

Scotland’s nursing and midwifery staffing and student recruitment are Miles better!

10% of the population yet 13.2% of the paediatricians: why the health of Scotland’s children is NOT being put at risk by staff shortages 

Scotland has 10% of the population but 17% of the health visitors and fewer post-natal deaths after SNP government increases staffing by 25%

GP recruitment crisis only in non-Scottish parts of UK

The above crisis does not seem to be transferring to the Scottish media though BBC Scotland did have a go last week fed by the flawed and gloomy pessimism of the Audit Scotland estimates in their report a week ago:

Perhaps they remembered their own report admitting more than a year after we did that Scotland seems to have quite a lot of GPs compared to the non-Scottish parts of the UK:

Anyhow, in case that isn’t enough evidence, see these recent posts here:

Scottish patients have far better access to GPs than those in England

July 12, 2019

BBC Scotland’s fake news on GPs ‘overwhelmed’ by workloads

June 5, 2019

Reporting Scotland all quiet on surgery closures and GP shortages as BBC 1 shoot them in the foot again!

May 31, 2019

SHOCK Scotland has far more staff including consultants and GPs per head of population

April 27, 2019

Lib Dem baloney as FEWER GPs and dentists retire early

April 3, 2019

Scottish Labour seems to know diddley about GP training

More NHS Scotland patients receive psychological therapies within target time in 2019

78.7% of patients started treatment for psychological therapies within the target time of 18 weeks for the period ending June 2019. This is up from 76.3% in the same period in 2018.

https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Waiting-Times/Publications/2019-09-03/2019-09-03-WT-PsychTherapies-Summary.pdf

https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Waiting-Times/Publications/2018-09-04/2018-09-04-WT-PsychTherapies-Summary.pdf

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