After years of reporting fake news of crises in NHS Scotland, in a determined attempt to undermine the SNP Scottish Government and save the Union, BBC Reporting Scotland, last night (12.1.17) appeared to give ground for the first time with more than one phrase recognising the superior performance of NHS Scotland. It was of course grudging and qualified with more than a few ‘buts’, but, nevertheless it was an absolute shock for those of us who have been monitoring them since before 2014. Read and be amazed that they said these:
‘We’ve heard a lot in the last few days about the NHS crisis (emphasised) in England. I think it would be fair to say the picture in Scotland looks better…’
If we look at the figures for A&E, the figures show we’re better off, as the First Minister said, we’re 10% better off…’
‘In terms of social care, we are doing some good work on the ground….’
‘We’re maybe (!) not using the term ‘humanitarian crisis to describe the state of the NHS in Scotland….’
Now, I know all the above were followed by a ‘but’, but what followed was never a piece of evidence to cast serious doubt on the preceding good news. Mostly it was a vague comment about vague, unquantified, future challenges or the failure to meet the Scottish government’s own very high targets.
If you need a reminder of how intensive their ‘weaponising’ of NHS Scotland has been in the past two years, see most pages in this below or search this blog for ‘NHS’.
Any way you look at it, this is a big surprise and it’s hard to explain why it happened. Are they embarrassed by watching the real crises unfold in England? Are they worried that their viewers are starting to make connections having first watched the English news from 6pm? Have they had lots of complaints about this? Was it to do with the staffing on the night? We had Sally Magnusson in the chair and new Health Correspondent, the kind of likeable and mild-mannered, Lisa Summers, in the field. I have no hard evidence, but I can’t imagine Jackie Bird and Glen Campbell or the former Health Correspondent, Eleanor Bradford, saying these things without gagging or fainting on the spot.
Of course, these were not headlined. The programme started off with ‘The First Minister is under fire over delays to new trauma centres’ and let Ruth and Kezia rant for the cameras about something they had clearly misunderstood. They did, however, give the First Minster enough time to clarify that we already have excellent trauma centres operating and that the delays are to further but not ‘life-or-death’ developments.
What do you make of this then?
Je suis estomaqué.