‘Bed blocking in NHS England has become significantly worse in Mental Health Trusts than in Acute Hospitals.’ (BBC Breakfast, 6.1.17)
Here are the facts in percentages so we can understand properly:
Bed blocking in NHS England, Physical Health Care, is up 30% and in Mental Health Care it’s up 56%. That’s more than 200 000 lost in just October 2016.
That look s like a crisis doesn’t it? Yesterday Anas Sarwar, of the wee Labour in Scotland Branch Office, announced that ‘more than 680 people died in hospital care while waiting to leave between March 2015 and September last year.’ Just to be clear that was 680 in 19 months or roughly 570 days. He didn’t or couldn’t or wouldn’t tell us whether that was worse or better than the previous 19 months. He couldn’t or wouldn’t tell us what percentage that was of the roughly 1.6 million cases dealt with every year by NHS Scotland. He didn’t remind us that the number of people dying in Scottish hospitals continues to fall with 7% less dying in hospital since 2014. He didn’t tell us that bed-blocking in Scotland was down 9% in 2015/16 compared with the previous year because he somehow, illogically, wanted to blame that for the deaths.
Most of all, of course, neither Anas, the newspapers, STV News, not BBC Scotland gave us any context by comparing the situation in NHS Scotland with that in NHS England. You have to watch BBC ‘National’ News or read the English newspapers to hear about the oh-so-real crises in NHS England which make the serial reporting of made-up crises dug up by the Tories or Labour and then dutifully reported by Reporting Scotland, the fabricated non-news they clearly are. A Scottish 6 produced by the same inept team? No thanks!
How about these NHS England headlines from the last month only:
‘Hundreds MORE die unexpectedly at crisis hospitals.’
‘NHS winter crisis: hospitals across England report they are full.’
‘NHS gripped by winter crisis with 15 hospitals listed as having no spare beds on at least one day.’
‘NHS CRISIS: Patients waiting 18 weeks or more for treatment rises by more than 40 per cent’
‘The NHS bed-blocking crisis stems from a lack of planned home-care.’
‘NHS England sending anorexic patients to Scotland for treatment.’
BBC Scotland seemed to have missed that last one.
Finally, why is Anas leading on this. I thought Ruth Davidson’s Tories were now the real opposition. Why isn’t she attacking the SNP-run NHS Scotland? Is it because her pals in England are running down NHS England and somebody might make a connection?