‘Seismic shift in maternity services’ say midwives on Scottish National Maternity Review. This is a very welcome report and one that has the full support of the Royal College of Midwives. ‘It’s not that good’ says Reporting Scotland

22nd January 2016

On 20th January, 2017, the midwives national body released exactly these words:


Today the Scottish Government has published its national maternity review ‘The Best Start – A Five Year Forward Plan for Maternity and Neonatal Care in Scotland’. Commenting on the Plan, Mary Ross-Davie, Director for Scotland at the Royal College of Midwives, said; “This is a very welcome report and one that has the full support of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).


That evening, STV did a very short factual report headed:

‘The Royal College of Midwives says the recommendations [Scottish Government] have the potential to revolutionise care.’

Reporting Scotland allocated more time, acknowledged the radical nature of the changes but didn’t find time for the RCW’s statement of ‘full support’. That’s unusual, because they usually have time for any Royal College criticising Scottish Government initiatives. They did, however, have time to insert their usual wee evidence-free and source-free scare stories:

‘Across the country experiences differ, services are under strain, staffing levels, pressure on beds, more complicated births.’

‘Over 40% of midwives are in their 50s and 60s.’

Now, none of that was in any of the reports. They just decided we might like to be reminded that the Government Report and the RCW had both forgotten to scare us with anything.

The only source for the latter point I could find was on their own website in 2015. Here’s a part of it:

  • the percentage of staff aged 50 or more rose from 32% of the workforce in 2011 to 42% in 2014
  • but there is not a shortage of midwives in Scotland.

Note, the data is now two years-old. We can’t see just how many or how few of those over 50 were also over 60. That would be important I’d say. Note the second point?


Have that dastardly Scottish Government been ignoring this imaginary threat? See this also from as early as 14th January 2014:

‘Seven per cent rise in students starting degrees.

The number of student nurses and midwives entering degree programmes funded by the Scottish Government this year is to increase by almost seven per cent.

A total of 2,698 students will begin their training in October this year, which is a 6.6 per cent increase on the 2013/14 figure of 2,530.

In particular, the number of student midwives beginning training will increase from 140 to 160, which is a 14.3 per cent increase, and the number of new children’s nursing students will increase from 203 to 245, which is a 20.7 per cent increase.’


I’m not going to waste time rebutting the other parts of Reporting Scotland’s typical scare story.

This is classic propaganda designed to create anxiety. Creating generalised anxiety is the only convincing media affect known to researchers. Anxiety makes you fearful of change and likely to vote for the status quo when it comes to elections. Sadly, it’s probably working.

12 thoughts on “‘Seismic shift in maternity services’ say midwives on Scottish National Maternity Review. This is a very welcome report and one that has the full support of the Royal College of Midwives. ‘It’s not that good’ says Reporting Scotland

  1. Dan Huil January 22, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    The britnat bbc is beneath contempt. Don’t paythe bbc tax. Let britnats pay for britnat propaganda.


      • Dan Huil January 22, 2017 / 4:08 pm

        You do. And long may you continue doing an excellent job.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ronnie Anderson January 22, 2017 / 4:55 pm

    John am getting special treatment from BBC the Manager of the Motherwell branch is conducting a oh so special investigation into my address not being Licenced ha ha . Might get a summons yet to appear at the Muppet court , are you up for a all expenses payed day out lol. On a serious note BBC Bias Protest 26th March . Moria will be contacting you re a speaker’s place.


  3. Contrary January 22, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    And thank you John for doing so, it is good to have you take the time & effort to watch that rubbish so at least I know what other people are talking about. I rarely watched telly anyway, but it was still a difficult decision to stop paying the BBC tax, now a relief. Your analyses are good & much appreciated.

    I do believe that scare stories, in general, are harmful, but those about the NHS particularly so. Keep up the good work.


    • johnrobertson834 January 22, 2017 / 6:53 pm

      I’d love to but I’m just out of hospital and a bit fragile. All the best though.


    • johnrobertson834 January 22, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks. They cause anxiety and for some folk that can be seriously damaging to their mental state.


  4. johnrobertson834 January 22, 2017 / 6:49 pm

    Of course, it might mean I’m not all there. Choose life instead?


    • Contrary January 23, 2017 / 8:09 am

      Is it an either/or choice? Everyone should constantly reassess their work-life balance, and you should do what is best for your own wellbeing. Most of the time there are just too many variables and there is always going to be some level of stress with any choice in life, just got to make the best of it I guess.

      I do listen to radio Scotland, and your posts really help bring perspective to what they tell me,,, I think, just maybe, even though their headlines are still pretty hysterical, that their actual reports are becoming more reasonable – they seem to be questioning people giving the ‘bad reports’ on the NHS more. Some progress? It is just a general feeling, I considered what I would have to do to actually analyse what and how they were reporting, realised the time and effort (and my lack of knowledge in this field) that would be needed – an impossible task – which then prompted me to show some appreciation for the work you put into your articles!


  5. broadbield January 23, 2017 / 8:28 am

    Why don’t they have the guts to come on blogs like this and explain themselves? Why isn’t there a public forum where they can be held to account? There is simply no credible means by which the viewers/listeners can have their criticisms addressed. Yet, it is a publicly funded body. (I haven’t had a tv for nearly 40 years)


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