Unlike the online version of the story which mostly gives due credit for this unambiguous success story, BBC Scotland News scrabbled around to find something, anything, they could use to undermine it. Here’s the essence of the story in the BBC’s own online version:
‘Hundreds of lives have been saved by a new ambulance response system which prioritises life-threatening calls, a study has found. The Scottish Ambulance Service changed the way it responds to the most unwell patients in 2016. Incidents such as cardiac arrests are now given the highest priority by call handlers. An evaluation of the changes has concluded the system has saved the equivalent of 1,182 lives. Under the new system, call handlers are taking longer on the phone to despatch paramedics and some lower priority calls are waiting longer for an ambulance, the review concludes. But both the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and researchers at the University of Stirling have concluded the new approach is saving lives.’
For Reporting Scotland this was not good enough, so they inserted a major section with a selection of dramatic headlines for backdrop:
‘But the service has not been devoid of criticism. Headlines have highlighted long waits for ambulances and last month police officers raised concerns about the time they were spending escorting people to A&E. GPs have welcomed the new priority system but they too are worried about delays in non-critical calls.’
Were these headlines actually for the very kind of critical calls that the new system has improved on?
The ‘service has not been devoid of criticism?’ What service has? Is this really informative material that we can use to judge the successes of a system evaluated by a university? These are one-off cases often picked up by trawling politicians and fed to the BBC itself.
As for the police concerns, these are to do with waiting times at A&E and not waiting times for ambulances to respond in the first place – FAKE NEWS?
The ‘worried GPs’ turn out to be, more accurately, one of their trade union reps. More important for accuracy, is their trade union rep really saying that they’re worried about delays in non-critical calls or are they really just annoyed that this new scientifically tested system is at times contradicting them and their, perhaps more selfish need to ‘clear their decks’?
I note that the Herald have ignored the story altogether today. Is that because their earlier reporting now exposes them as mere shit-stirrers?