Another sneaky wee Reporting Scotland lie about midwifery staffing inserted into the anxious early morning consciousness

  • The midwifery vacancy rate in Scotland is only 3%
  • Staffing levels have been constant for five years
  • Scotland’s stillbirth rate is much lower than the UK and close to Scandinavian levels

 They never rest, especially if they can insert a wee nagging doubt about NHS Scotland and by implication the Scottish Government’s competence to run it, as the elderly, the sick and pregnant mums wake to the typical anxiety of humans in the early hours. For a reminder of why this matters, see:

The Power of Early Morning Nightmares and Expectant Mothers: BBC Scotland callously undermines the morale of midwives, their patients, expectant mothers and their relatives, with highly selective and un-contextualised information

At 06:26 this morning, this was inserted into a general piece about overweight babies:

‘The number of vacancies for midwives has increased significantly over the last five years.’

Here are some facts:

First, the Midwifery vacancy rate is 3%. This is not by any means a significant problem for NHS Scotland allowing as it does for the healthy transfer of staff and the arrival of ‘new blood’ within the system. If the level is currently only 3%, how can a change from less than that to only 3% be significant? It cannot. The graph published by NHS Scotland does, to the untutored mind, suggest an increase but knowing that it is from around 1% to only 3% we can see it is not significant on its own.

Second overall staffing has been fairly consistent over the last five years with a fall of only 0.1% in qualified staff. See:

Finally, more important than staffing levels on their own, as a measure of success in midwifery is the rate of stillbirths. In the Nordic countries – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland – the rate of stillbirths and deaths of babies within 28 days is 4.3 per 1 000 live births. This is the lowest in the world. In the USA, it’s about 10. The Scottish figure has now fallen to just 4.72 with the rate for the UK at 5.61.

Note the above is from the BBC website. Have you ever heard Reporting Scotland mention it?



10 thoughts on “Another sneaky wee Reporting Scotland lie about midwifery staffing inserted into the anxious early morning consciousness

  1. John September 12, 2018 / 6:56 am

    Yip , scraping the bottom of the barrel now , it was only a couple of weeks ago GMS were making a big deal of this , so here we go again .
    GMS is absolutely atrocious now , they are not covering topical questions in any depth , they are regurgitating any old story that will give them an SNP baad slant . Lazy , lazy , journalism , dire ! .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Alasdair Macdonald September 12, 2018 / 8:08 am

    I did not tune in until shortly after 7.00pm and a few minutes later there was an interview with a spokesperson from the Royal College of Midwives. The main focus of the interview was about the concerns regarding older, overweight and obese mothers.

    Towards the end the question of midwife vacancies was raised. To her credit, the RCM spokesperson was very balanced in her reply, in response to a question about ‘a rise in the number of midwife vacancies’. She said that the numbers were smaller than elsewhere and were still rising, but that the SG had undertaken a number of initiatives, which she felt would substantially address the issue.

    She indicated that the main problem area was in the Highland area, which has staffing problems across all categories of NHS staff, specific to the area. She then spoke of a number of approaches being made. She also made some trade union points which I would have expected her to make, but she certainly was not making a big fuss. The impression I got was that she was satisfied with the approach of the SG.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John September 12, 2018 / 8:39 am

      Yes I thought she was quite balanced , compared to the midwife spokesperson that was on a couple of weeks ago , maybe these people are catching on to the fact that they are really only there to give SNP baab replies !

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alasdair Macdonald September 12, 2018 / 8:45 am

        On the BBC website they have her paraphrased as saying that the increase in training numbers ‘might not come soon enough’. This is wilfully putting a negative slant. She recognises that the vacancies cannot be filled immediately but was satisfied with the significan workforce planning that was being undertaken.

        They have also, on the website, used the old GMS ploy of having a criticism of something followed by an official response to imply that it is a reaction. After their misleading statement they have a quote from the Minister Ms Freeman in which she states what the SG reponse has been over a couple of years. However, the juxtaposition implies they are just reacting in haste to something the BBC has revealed.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Legerwood September 12, 2018 / 10:43 am

    Training places. In 2012/13 there was a cut to the number of training places for Student nurses and midwives which took the numbers down to 2,400 BUT the cuts were made because there were a record number of student nurses and midwives in training, 10,384 and there were concerns that there would not be jobs available for all of them.

    In the 6 years since the number of training places has increased year on year and for 2018/19 the number stands at 3,724. By the end of the Parliament the SG hopes to have over 12,000 student nurses/midwives in training.

    Sorry I don’t have much detail of the number of midwifery training places within the total number apart from this
    From January this year

    And here is something about the situation in England

    Liked by 2 people

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