Last year, by this time, the State Broadcaster’s Reporting Scotland team had predicted a winter crisis for NHS Scotland. None came to pass. There is no definitive evidence that some reporters and presenters prayed for increased injuries that year.
Renowned media analyst and visiting research fellow at the Vidkun Quisling Centre for Critical Collaboration Studies, in Oslo, Professor John Robertson, has challenged the State Broadcaster’s team to come with up a campaign of misinformation designed to suggest a crisis in NHS Scotland this winter.
The evidence for a crisis in NHS England is already apparent and the State Broadcaster’s team in England has already launched its campaign:
Though BBC 1 News at 1.30pm yesterday misled by suggesting 87.6% of A&E patients were seen within 4 hours, the number seen in the Type 1 departments, those actually comparable to Scottish departments, saw only 81.1% in that time. This is a regular ‘mistake’.
In November 2018, the average for Scottish A&E departments was 90.15% seen within 4 hours.
Further, NHS bed occupancy has entered a critical situation early:
‘Hospitals in England are so overcrowded ahead of Christmas care is being put at risk, experts say, with some places having to turn away ambulances because they cannot accept any more patients. NHS England’s first weekly report of the winter shows nearly 95% of beds are occupied. Anything above 85% is unsafe.’
There is no sign of a comparable crisis regarding bed occupancy in Scotland. The more advanced social care arrangements in Scotland may be preventing this from happening. If there was a crisis, we’d know all about it. Indeed, there is evidence, at this stage of NHS Scotland having enough beds to subsidise NHS England capacity problems. See:
Should a genuine crisis emerge in NHS Scotland, comparable to that in England, Professor Robertson, following Scotsman guidance, will make a small apology at the bottom of page 14 of the print edition of TuS.