‘Dysfunctional’ NHS Tayside fights back as BBC Scotland fiddle with their vocabulary to fool you


‘Oncologists under investigation for giving lower dosages of chemotherapy to 300 breast cancer patients refute claims they were wrong to do so. That’s according to a senior clinician at NHS Tayside. Last month doctors at NHS Tayside were ordered to come into line with other health boards. This week, experts from London have been called to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.’

This is a less dramatic case than the previous two reports here on BBC Scotland’s horribly biased coverage of a cancer patient satisfaction survey where the choice of vocabulary resulted in clear distortion and even lies. However, the agenda is still apparent.

The ‘investigation’ which the oncologists are supposedly ‘under’, is a ‘voluntary internal review’ triggered only by BBC Scotland’s exaggerated coverage, just as the review into hygiene at Glasgow hospitals only took place to satisfy media pressure. The term ‘under investigation’ has the required policing feel to position the doctors as suspects. The oncologists were not ‘ordered to come into line’ but again that language finds them guilty before any review. NHS Tayside have themselves decided that they ‘will now bring treatment into line with the rest of the country’ despite their concerns about the dangers in higher doses.


This is going to be interesting. The oncologists are not going to give up easily. Their determination to clear themselves is probably justified by the review already undertaken which found that at worst 1 death could perhaps be attributed to the dosage:

‘The overall assessment of the increased risk of recurrence within the treated cohort is extremely difficult to quantify but probably of the order of 1-2%. A risk of harm of 1-2%, allows an estimate that around 1 patient per year in NHS Tayside may have suffered an adverse outcome.’




Back on April 1st, Jackie Bird listened with a face that spoke of the empathy she was known for, as her health correspondent reported:

‘The report today pointed to the possibility of a dysfunctional department. ‘Detectives’ spoke of pharmacy and nursing staff who said they had concerns about the change of procedures, but they felt they were not being listened to and that their position was one above.’

Only Reporting Scotland use the word ‘dysfunctional’. The BBC website and all the papers I looked at (8) did not use the term either.

The report did not, of course (no time?) tell us that NHS Tayside’s breast cancer care mortality is average!


Today’s presenter has responded to my previous accusations with what seemed like genuine indignation. That tells us that the agenda has been thoroughly internalised and that for many presenters it really does not feel like bias.

Those academics just don’t understand what journalism is because they’re outsiders. We know what to do because we’ve always done it and our peers often give us awards for doing what we and they have always done.

Propaganda in a market-oriented part-democracy is the most effective history has seen because the mechanism is almost invisible.



8 thoughts on “‘Dysfunctional’ NHS Tayside fights back as BBC Scotland fiddle with their vocabulary to fool you

  1. Bugger (the Panda) May 1, 2019 / 8:03 am

    I don’t know about you, John, or the other readers of your serial eviscerations of the serial propaganda of the BBC, but I getting thoroughly scunnered and angry.

    This is NKorean weaponised lying as the truth.

    There will be a metaphorical bloodbath in BBC Scotland after Indie and hopefully a Truth Commission held in public to winkle out the propaganda network and the names.

    Anyway the BBC is finished in these islands.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bugger (the Panda) May 1, 2019 / 8:06 am

      I don’t know how you can keep on these fileting artickes when they just ignore any complaints and treat us the insentient beings.


  2. Bugger (the Panda) May 1, 2019 / 8:09 am

    Like, missed out

    Maybe vegetables would have been simpler.

    May Day here and everybloody thing here is closed.

    Pub is open though

    24 C coming up

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alasdair Macdonald May 1, 2019 / 8:21 am

    The reporting this morning was more cautious and circumspect, although it did add that ’14 subsequently died’ immediately after a section about lower dosages. There was no spoken ‘linkage’ of the two, but the juxtaposition implied that a connection could be made. No mention was made of the NHS report that perhaps only 1 death might be attributable.

    Usually, ‘vox pops’ only have aggrieved people. However, this report included an interview with three patients who were in agreement with the lower dosages they were prescribed. They sounded well-informed about their treatment and its relation to the actual cancer. One pointed out that the drug concerned was not about attacking the cancer (which was treated by surgery and radiotherapy) but about reducing the chances of sepsis which is a hazard when immuno-suppressive treatments are being given.

    As with the report yesterday about ‘satisfaction’, the media adopt the line that if someone (for whatever reasons) expresses dissatisfaction, then no matter how many are satisfied (97%?) then things have failed. It is the perfectionist fallacy.

    The same applies to ‘whistleblowers’. Most of us know well that organisations or cliques within them can close ranks to protect themselves against wrong practices, etc and whistleblowing is, on the whole, to be facilitated and the whistleblower (provided the action was sincere0 protected from vengeful acts. The fact that there has been whistleblowing does not mean that it is unquestionably true. It should be taken seriously and the matter investigated properly and as transparently as possible. This requires the media to adopt a more measured approach than has been the practice for centuries. While the ‘foghorn’ approach has been useful on many occasions, it needs to be counterbalanced by some kind of ‘equal emphasis’ apology/payback when the investigation shows that the claims were wrong and caused distress to the accused.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Legerwood May 1, 2019 / 10:23 am

      It is the word ‘subsequently’ that establishes the link – after something has happened. In this case the lower dosages. It is truly dreadful reporting. Deliberate use of words to paint a totally false picture.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. diabloandco May 2, 2019 / 6:56 am

    Could NHS Tayside take Misreporting Scotland to court for spreading despairing rumour and terror not to mention defamation?

    Just a wee fantasy scene I’d like to see – even though I know it would be a waste of money as the Dugdale Defense would be used and the lawyers would be rubbing hands in glee as they drove their lamborghinis around.


  5. Robert T May 2, 2019 / 3:08 pm

    John a MAHOOSIVE THANK YOU for ALL your sterling work in providing a balanced approach and exposure of the ever increasing denigration and demoralisation of our ( Scottish public services ) carried out by the infantile and reprehensible organisation bbc and it’s subservient lackeys .

    I look forward to an independent country where we can legally insist that honesty and integrity will be adhered to by ALL members and owners of the MSM and public servants ( including especially politicians ) , no one objects to , in fact we insist , that wrongdoings are exposed and reported with the perpetrators being penalised severely , but this ongoing false witchunt only serves to make people complacent and disbelieving when the REAL problems happen

    Journalism is meant to be the fifth estate where the investigation and reportage of events and acts against the public benefit is rewarded and heralded , but this current cabal of presstitutes have sullied their profession


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