Despite massive increases in demand, NHS Scotland maintains performance levels extremely close to the most rigorous of targets and patient satisfaction is at an all-time high. Audit Scotland say: ‘There were no significant weaknesses in the overall quality of care being provided.’


In the space of only five years demand for NHS services has increased enormously. Look at these percentage increases in the table below to get an idea of the scale.


Despite this, NHS Scotland has consistently hit or come very close to hitting some of the most demanding targets in the Western world. See this:


There isn’t a comparable table for NHS England and Wales, but I feel sure the gaps are greater in almost every case. We do know that in the first quarter of 2017, 87.6% of English A&E patients were seen within 4 hours while in Scotland, 93.8% of patients were seen and either admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours during the month [March]. The number compares with 92.5% in February and 91.8% in January.

This month’s Audit Scotland report on NHS Scotland also has much to report that is good but, of course our Unionist MSM have scurried around rotten-cherry-picked anything negative they can find.

Here are the main findings (page 23):

Analysis of a range of measures indicates there were no significant weaknesses in the overall quality of care being provided by the NHS in 2016/17. Positive examples include the following:

  • Inpatient satisfaction is at an all-time high. Ninety per cent of patients rated their care and treatment as good or excellent in 2016.
  • Patient safety indicators continued to improve: between 2007 and 2016, there was a reduction in the hospital standardised mortality ratio of 16.5 per cent, and a 21 per cent reduction in 30-day mortality due to sepsis.
  • The Nuffield Trust’s 2017 report, ‘Learning from Scotland’s NHS’ found there was a strong culture of continuous improvement in the NHS in Scotland

The report also states (p5):

‘Levels of overall patient satisfaction continue to be high and the Scottish public hold the NHS in high regard. There are also early signs that changes in the way services are planned and delivered are beginning to have a positive impact. For example, delayed discharges

have reduced in a number of areas and this provides opportunities for sharing learning across the country.’

Credit for this goes, first, to the staff working in the NHS, but the government of the day gets the blame when things go wrong so they also must share in some of the credit and Audit Scotland do give them some. See this:

‘The Scottish Government has a consistent and long-standing vision of how it wants healthcare to look in the future. For well over a decade, successive Scottish Governments have had a policy of integrating health and care services to improve the health of the population. A healthy population served by a high-quality healthcare system is central to  the Scottish Government’s ambition to create ‘a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth’.

I can only imagine how Rodent-like Scotland will have misrepresented these key conclusions in their desperate scurrying around for something rotten to scare the old and infirm.


17 thoughts on “Despite massive increases in demand, NHS Scotland maintains performance levels extremely close to the most rigorous of targets and patient satisfaction is at an all-time high. Audit Scotland say: ‘There were no significant weaknesses in the overall quality of care being provided.’

  1. William Henderson October 26, 2017 / 12:11 pm


    Many thanks for putting this up as a counter to the, quite frankly, disgusting headlines which appeared this morning. I made a point of downloading and reading the whole report of the audit, and any similarity between it and the MSM content is rather hard to establish. It is an auditors’ report which identifies areas where even more can be done to improve the already excellent NHS in Scotland.

    From this morning’s coverage it would seem that most headline writers have an early morning communal meeting to decide on what today’s across-the-board ‘headline’ will be.

    Shameful, shameless and truly nauseating.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Alasdair Macdonald October 26, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      I second William Henderson’s comments.

      The interview of Ms Shona Robison by Ms Hailey Millar was angry, aggressive, bombastic, contemptuous. Ms Robison was continually interrupted throughout the long interview. She kept calm and continued to assert the points which she intended to make. It was one of the most unpleasant interviews I have heard. It ranks with that by David Frost of Dr Emil Savundra. It was a blatant misuse of power.

      The story was prefaced by a statement from Labour calling for the resignation of Ms Robison.

      The following phone-in was about an issue which arose relating to problems of ‘bed-blocking’ when some treated patients cannot be quickly discharged to a safe location. The phone-in was an unashamed advert for a scheme in Essex where a private company operates an ‘AirBnB’ style operation where patients are discharged into private/family homes to do their convalescence. The homeowners receive a £50 per night payment. Despite the texts from the public being uniformly hostile to the idea, Kaye Adams described it in advertiser’s language, concluding with the question, “What’s not to like?” I did not hear the phone-in as I had to go out on personal matters. (Incidentally, the BBC website now reports that this “what’s-not-to-like?” scheme in Essex is NOT to go ahead!)

      Both Good Morning Scotland and the phone-in sounded as if they had been planned as a complementary pair of programmes.

      As we can see from the Auditor’s report and the first table shown by Mr Robertson, there is an increasing demand for health care, substantially due to an ageing population. We have to do things differently because the demographic has changed and, despite the ‘substantial revenue raising powers of Holyrood’, the Scottish Government has to operate within the austerity framework of Westminster. 43% of the Scottish Government budget is allocated to health. We have to do things differently. As Ms Robison pointed out Labour, Tories and LibDems have no proposals which are different from those of the Scottish Government on how to deal with the change which has to take place. They are, literally, ‘playing politics’.

      This morning showed just how biassed, proUnionist and pro-privatisation the BBC has become. The word that comes to mind is ‘infamous’.

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 October 26, 2017 / 1:26 pm

        I couldn’t listen. You’re a brave man. GMS is even more propogandised that RepScot I think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ken McColl October 26, 2017 / 9:51 pm

        I do not mind an aggressive interviewer. In fact I very much prefer it regardless of the political persuasion of the interviewee.

        Where Millar is involved though, the haranguing and hassling of Robison gave no hint of professional engagement but seemed much more the kind of engagement from a hostile public forum, where an irate member of the public has a go at a speaker.

        All I could detect from Millar was anger. There wasn’t a sense of pushing for a better answer for the listener, just anger.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ludo Thierry October 26, 2017 / 4:51 pm

    Hi all – I can only concur with the previous comments above. I heard the ‘interview’ of Shona Robison MSP (Health Secretary) by Hayley Millar (beeb Jockland) as I drove into work – It was quite outrageous. Shona remained calm and polite in the face of a needlessly aggressive (oafish) interview style (deliberately) adopted by Hayley Millar. The poor listeners were unable to glean much information as Millar constantly interrupted any attempted responses to her ‘questions’ – It should be noted that it was hard to decipher what was, actually, being asked – and Millar repeatedly re-phrased her ‘questions’ as she was in the process of posing them. Professional? – it was not. Embarrasingly amateurish and partial? – it was (in spades).

    We are not faced with a National Broadcaster – more a National JOKE.

    Thanks, Ludo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan Smith October 27, 2017 / 4:45 pm

      Hayley Millar seems to me to be unprofessional and incompetent all the time- not sure of her brief and she’s also contemptuous of anyone she interviews. A disgrace I don’t listen to GMS much any more.


      • johnrobertson834 October 27, 2017 / 6:45 pm

        Yes, she was especially so in the run-up to the referendum


  3. Clydebuilt October 26, 2017 / 7:50 pm

    Before 8am Hayley Millar was interviewing two docs. She failed to get the anti Scottish Gov. answers she expected. At 8am news bulletin she failed to say Scotland, her first attempt was heading towards Shitland (IMHO). So at 8.12am the BBC’s most skilful interrogator found her self with an SNP minister in front of her, baseball bat in hand she set about her work.
    Apparently Rajoys PP turned her down for a vacant broadcast job too aggressive for them

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alasdair Macdonald October 26, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    I noticed that subsequent bulletins on both radio and TV were more measured. They were still SGbaaaaad in tenor, but attempted to give a more balanced perspective.

    Having now read the Auditor’s report, it is pretty fair in its approach. It was indicating that things cannot stay as they are, but was not blaming the decline in some aspects and the standstill in others on the Government. It was simply reporting that these things have occurred. As is the reason for having such reports it then described actions which the SG will have to take, most of which are actually in train. It did indicate the scale of the issues involved, because changing attitudes and ways of working is not easy even with the pretty highly committed workforce which NHS Scotland has.

    This report gives a blueprint for how constructive deliberations should take place amongst all parties in the Scottish Parliament, between SG and Councils, between Health Boards and Councils, between GPs and their patients. Most of all, we, the members of the Scottish public have to take responsibility for how we manage our own health. Now, the fact is, that very many of us now do that by changing our diets, taking exercise, taking our medications, stopping smoking, moderating our alcohol consumption. We also need to take a greater interest in environmental issues, because air pollution is a factor in poor health. We need to become more neighbourly to help reduce loneliness, improve public safety and contribute to maintaining good mental health.

    This is the kind of thing that BBC Scotland and STV and our printed media should be fostering, rather than blame, blame, blame…. During WW2 the public information service did an excellent job and had the services of outstanding writers like Dylan Thomas and WH Auden and film makers like John Grierson. Such productions have a really positive impact.

    As I indicated, the reporting was prefaced by ‘Scottish Labour calls for the resignation of Shona Robison’ – a press release by struggling leadership candidate, Mr Anas Sarwar.

    It is not as if some within the generally mediocre cadre of Labour MSPs are not capable of constructive and collaborative approaches. It is just that the majority are kneejerk oppositionists and tribalists. I heard an interview with Ms Monica Lennon in which she discussed her father’s alcoholism. She had a deep understanding of the theme. Having had both parents die directly of excessive alcohol consumption her experience fitted with my own. She had positive and constructive ideas, as she had regarding the provision of sanitary products for women, but which she spoiled by insisting that it was her idea and the SNP had stolen it. This sourness removed the focus from the serious issue of poverty and its impact on women to ‘Labour slams SNP’. No wonder so many people get pissed off with politicians.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ron Birrell October 26, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    I wold love it if once, just once, BBC Scotland would try to put this in context, by, for example, citing international comparisons on GDP spent on Health. West European counries in general spend around 11% to 12% of GDP on Health; the UK around 10%. The World Health Organisation figures are easy to find – any BBC Reporting Scotland reporter could find them. How many of NHS Scotland problems would be solved by increasing the budget by 2% of GDP?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alasdair Macdonald October 26, 2017 / 10:22 pm

      It is clear that they have no intention of doing so. It has become increasingly obvious that a significant number of the reporters/presenters are partial to a particular viewpoint and make no attempt at being impartial. They were selected precisely because of their personal political philosophy. It is noticeable in the line of questioning of some reporters/interviewers.


      • Clydebuilt October 27, 2017 / 7:48 am

        In Millar’s case is her personal political philosophy. . . . Orangeism?


      • Alasdair Macdonald October 27, 2017 / 12:30 pm

        Clydebuilt, Undoubtedly Ms Millar has an accent from the north of Ireland, but I have no knowledge of whether her background is from one or other of the euphemistically titled ‘traditions’.

        As Ken McColl comments above, anger was clearly evident in her interview and her angrily aggressive interruptions undoubtedly obscured from the listeners what was being said. One wonders what was the source of that anger and aggression because it seemed genuine emotion. Was it personal against Ms Robison because of previous meetings. I doubt if it was anger at the outcomes which they had selected from the report. Reports like this appear regularly and broadcast interviewers have to deal with them on a regular basis and, I would surmise, acquire a professional emotional detachment. Some interviewers are ‘ham’ actors who introduce inflections in their voices, use hyperbole or raise eyebrows, etc., but these are fairly easily detectable and it can be seen or heard that the interviewer is emotionally in control. In this case, I and Mr McColl are in no doubt she was angry. There is nothing in ‘health’ as discussed in the report that would arouse ‘orange’ ire, if that is, indeed, her ‘tradition’.

        She interviewed this morning about abortion and was controlled. She raised the question, entirely, legitimately, about Northern Ireland, but displayed no emotion. She was interviewing the Chief Medical Officer, who is not ‘political’ and in those circumstances the aggression shown to politicians is curbed. She also interviewed David Steele, who introduced the legislation 50 years ago, but was again restrained.

        So, I am unclear about the reason for her unprofessional and disrespectful conduct with Ms Robison.


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