‘Have you been affected by the death of journalism by lazy social media stalkers? Let us know your story.’ BBC Reporting Scotland’s desperate trawl for dirt on NHS Scotland

‘Have you been affected by the death of journalism by lazy social media stalkers? Let us know your story.’ BBC Reporting Scotland’s desperate trawl for dirt on NHS Scotland

I’m indebted to a reader for the idea for this story and to a Twitter respondent to a BBC Scotland tweet for the headline above.  I’ve been writing for some time about BBC Scotland’s disgusting use of NHS Scotland as a weapon with which to attack the Scottish Government. After a grudgingly but complimentary piece comparing NHS Scotland favourably with NHS England’s current ‘humanitarian crisis’ on the 12th, one reader sent me this:


I thought the most perceptive responses below the BBC tweet were these two:

Robertson Malt ‏@Robertsonmalt  22h

@joe90kane @BBCScotNewsdesk Have you been affected by the death of journalism by lazy social media stalkers? Let us know your story.

1 reply .60 retweets 93 likes

Lord of the Bings‏@joe90kane

@Robertsonmalt @BBCScotNewsdesk Impressive start in establishing public trust by Donalda’s new BBC Scotland regime

On the 13th January 2017, at 6.30, BBC Reporting Scotland headlined with:

‘A Health board apologises to five pregnant women who were turned away from the maternity unit at Glasgow’s ‘flagship’ hospital because of a shortage of beds.’

Viewers who watched the UK News at 6pm before Reporting Scotland may well have been underwhelmed by the report that meant essentially:

Five pregnant women had to travel an extra 7.3 miles for a bed, taking as long as 19 minutes to do so. Those of us not living in an inner city area may well remember much longer journeys from our home to the nearest maternity unit, 30 or more miles away. Even a town as large as Ayr/Prestwick (>70 000) has no maternity unit and the nearest in Irvine is around 15 miles away. I did it four times not counting false alarms. Those who did watch BBC at 6 would have heard this kind of thing along with distressing images taking up much of the thirty minutes:

‘More than four in 10 hospitals in England declared a major alert in the first week of the New Year as they encountered unprecedented pressures. ‘Sixty-six out of 152 trusts raised the alarm as mounting bed shortages led to large numbers of patients experiencing trolley waits and delays in A&E. Data leaked to the BBC earlier this week suggested only one trust hit its four-hour A&E target. But now official figures have revealed more about the scale of the problem. The number of major alerts, which used to be known as red and black alerts, is the highest of the winter.’

In the face of this kind of catastrophe, you’d think BBC Scotland would either praise NHS Scotland or if they can’t bear to do that, just shut up. The above report is both pathetic and unethical. They should be ashamed.


12 thoughts on “‘Have you been affected by the death of journalism by lazy social media stalkers? Let us know your story.’ BBC Reporting Scotland’s desperate trawl for dirt on NHS Scotland

  1. Finnmacollie January 14, 2017 / 10:44 am

    I think you experienced premature estomaque in your previous post. Your gast will have to remain unflabbered for a wee while.

    No doubt their trawling was ‘just for balance’ and if they fail to elicit a suitable response they could always use the new star of Holby City with a pilly up his jook and a tear in his eye.

    btw is Lisa Summers looking for a new job yet?


    • johnrobertson834 January 14, 2017 / 10:53 am

      Thanks Finn for the laughs. Lisa will toe the line judging by last night.


    • Clydebuilt January 14, 2017 / 11:09 am

      Finnmacollie……. Think the BBC will try a bit of re-programming with Lisa Summers…… Chances are they can get her to function properly after a few courses….


  2. Bryan Weir January 14, 2017 / 11:15 am

    I have been sharing their Tweet on Twitter and Facebook. We should all do this. It’s disgusting and people should know about it.

    One good thing, which is apparent from this episode is that the comments below the Tweet clearly show that the people now know what they are doing. Their gas was well and truly put at a peep on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alex Beveridge January 14, 2017 / 11:23 am

    After I wrote a short comment on W.O.S praising the S.N.H.S, I was directed to a website called Patient Opinion, which up until now I didn’t know existed. In the past I had always written to the individual people involved in my treatment, but this is a very handy central point to give them your thoughts. I don’t of course know what sort of response the get from the general public, but they certainly replied promptly to me, and said they would pass on my thanks to the relevant department.
    What must all the people working in our N.H.S think about the continual bad-mouthing foisted on them by the B.B.C. Surely not much. As in every large organisation, not everything works perfectly al of the time, but these people are doing their best, and to be subjected to unfair levels of criticism, is plain wrong. But hey, this is the B.B.C. As long as they can stymie our move to independence, and tell us we’re rubbish at running our own country, who cares.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clydebuilt January 14, 2017 / 11:28 am

    Great Post John

    They treat us like fools…… They must be desperately working to influence small percentages: in doing so, and with these methods, they are leaving themselves exposed like a football team that’s loosing…….

    Check out Dave McEwan Hill’s letter in yesterday’s National, poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. johnrobertson834 January 16, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Read the set. Very interesting. Thanks for drawing my attention to them.


    • johnrobertson834 January 16, 2017 / 2:44 pm

      Hopefully Theresa’s England will push more into the Yes camp next time.


  6. johnrobertson834 February 3, 2017 / 10:28 am

    My second complaint: Bias
    Contacted us before
    Reason for contacting us again
    Unhappy with previous response
    Complaint title
    Unethical news gathering
    Complaint description
    You wrote: The Twitter communication asked for information following the changing circumstances of a hospital unit. It was neutrally expressed..Me: It was not neutrally expressed it said: ‘Have you been affected by Glasgow’s QEUH maternity unit being closed to new admissions? Let us know your story.’ This was an attempt Daily-Mail-like to trawl for bad news.You wrote: and is a legitimate way of engaging with members of the public.– that’s the point of tweets.Me: To call this ‘engaging’ is remarkable. It was a form of stalking and thus unethical behaviour”.You wrote: I regard what happened to those women as newsworthy. You do not. We must agree to differ.Me: In the context of your method, the small number in the context of the roughly 50 000 births every year and the very short distance travelled to an available bed (7 miles) made this noy newsworthy You wrote: Finally you claim that the story was the eighth “negative” report in eight days. You do so without any citation and therefore I cannot comment. Citation? You have the broadcasts. However, you will find the dates and the headlines of 7 here: . https://thoughtcontrolscotland.com/2017/01/11/weaponising-scotlands-health-service-how-bbc-scotland-is-developing-a-new-project-fear-part-1-1st-to-10th-january-2017/ The 8thand 9th took place on 12th January: First Minister under fire for delays in new trauma centres, targets for A&E not met since September, only one out of all eight targets met


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