AFTER SNP policies Scotland has 30% more doctors than England BUT BBC Scotland find a Stoneyburn wifie who….

moregps stoneyburn.png

Yes, there really is a Stoneyburn. You’re thinking of TV’s Stoneybridge where they didn’t just have no GP, they had SFA!

It’s all over BBC 1 News, headlining BBC Scotland broadcasts and online. They open with:

  1. Scotland has the highest number of GPs per head of population in the UK, research commissioned by the BBC has revealed.
  2. Analysis by the Nuffield Trust think tank shows there are 76 GPs per 100,000 people, compared to a national UK average of 60.
  3. BUT (BUT, BUT…) Scotland’s doctors have warned major challenges still exist with recruitment and retention.

They’ve had to scramble to get their buts in gear to counter this disastrous news, but they managed to insert one in the third sentence. From then on, we hear from GPs that we shouldn’t get carried away because its no that great up here with unfilled vacancies and more patients to be dealt with. Wait a minute Doc, aren’t these ratios taking into account that there are more patients? So, you’ve got more patients, BUT you’ve got more GPs too? It seems to be working as well. See this from 2018:

‘More encouragingly, it also found 87 per cent of people found it easy to contact their GP practice, while more than nine out ten (93 per cent) were able to get an appointment within two days.’

As for vacancies, they’re running nearly three times higher in England and the rate here is not extreme:

‘GP vacancies (in England) rise to record levels despite recruitment pledge, survey suggests. Long patient waits and unsafe, rushed appointments are unlikely to end any time soon as vacancies have risen from 9.1 per cent to 15.3 per cent since the (UK) government pledged 5 000 more doctors.’

In sharp contrast, the GP vacancy rate in Scotland was only 5.6% at the end of 2017.

The TV report this morning didn’t show this lovely graph. Will they do so in the later editions? They usually love their graphics.


It’s a stunning clear victory. Who can be responsible? Surely not those Nats? Well yes it looks that way. See these recent indicators that things are being run much better here:

When the Scottish contract was first introduced in January, the BMA contrasted it very favourably with that on offer in England and Wales. The BMA told the GP’s newsletter, Pulse (‘At the heart of general practice since 1960’), that the new Scottish contract is an ‘ambitious departure’ from the rest of the UK and that it will make the profession attractive again.

Scotland has a unique system of improving the quality of health care. It focuses on engaging the altruistic professional motivations of frontline staff to do better and building their skills to improve. Success is defined based on specific measurements of safety and effectiveness that make sense to clinicians.

And thanks to the GPs BUT also making things better FOR the GPs:

91% satisfaction with NHS Scotland staff! Patients even more satisfied than before

LATEST: Hold the cameras! We’ve found an old woman in Stoneybridge (?) where they’ve closed the practice. I don’t know where that is! The camera crew have a satnav don’t they? Get them out there pronto! We can make her the real story. Those statistics mean nothing really. How did we find her so quickly? She’s the mother of one of our cleaners? Investigative journalism at its best!




9 thoughts on “AFTER SNP policies Scotland has 30% more doctors than England BUT BBC Scotland find a Stoneyburn wifie who….

  1. Robert Graham May 8, 2019 / 9:35 am

    Aye the BBC would be lost without the usual “BUT” inserted in every good news story about anything north of the border , it was the very first thing i looked for in their report and it’s so predictable now and it is becoming pretty boring , but maybe thats the point .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Legerwood May 8, 2019 / 2:36 pm

    In August 2017 NHS England launched a £100 million recruitment drive to try to get 3,000 GPs from abroad. Recruitment agencies would earn up to £20,000 for each GP they recruited – link to article below. I have no idea how successful it was but the numbers today suggest not very

    Liked by 1 person

    • gavin May 8, 2019 / 3:19 pm

      I saw an aticle on this, in the Guardian or Indy. After the first year, all they had done was to stem the doctors leaving, so numbers had remained steady.

      But it doesn’t matter. BBC Scotland are reporting Scotland’s higher doctor numbers as a “crisis”, while BBC network are simply reporting England’s figures as a “problem”.

      Blackford should have raised this, along with general NHS staffing levels, police numbers and all the rest, at PMQ’s. Ask May how HER day job is going!

      Liked by 1 person

      • stewartb May 8, 2019 / 3:40 pm

        Gavin, to a large degree the BBC, certainly on Radio 4, have been headlining this as a ‘UK problem’ albeit with an acknowledgement that Scotland is better – in terms, the Scotland numbers are ‘more stable’ – but giving no sense at all of how much better the situation here is compared to England.

        Indeed by focusing on the UK figures the Radio 4 reports that I have heard have shielded England’s electorate from the information on how much worse the stats are in England relative to the other nations.

        And yes, what an opportunity for Mr Blackford at PMQs: “Does the PM agree with me that the research published today by the Nuffield Trust and the BBC showing that … etc. etc. ” At Scottish Questions and at PMQs, Scottish Tory MPs use similarly framed questions to profile supposed negatives associated with the SG’s governance of our public services. Yet another opportunity for SNP MPs to turn the tables.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Clydebuilt May 8, 2019 / 3:47 pm

    Jeremey Vine prog at Dinner time. . . interviewed an experienced GP who had a breakdown due to the stress of working in England’s Tory run NHS. He painted a picture of a health service close to collapse. According to Chomsky the Privateers will be running it soon. Ruthless Davidson won’t be happy untill Scotland’s Health Service is in the same condition.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gavin May 8, 2019 / 3:51 pm

    Wee Babbie is to be called Archie. Honest!

    Scottish to a certain extent, though I would guess it has some US origin in this case. Archie Andrews of Archie comics. Archie Bunker.
    Wont be them, some famous Archie lurks in Mrs Sussex’s family tree, I would think.
    Grandpa Archie Markel perhaps!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ludo Thierry May 8, 2019 / 4:40 pm

    Remember back in Indyref 1 how Better Together swore blind we’d have no Common Travel Area? – well beeb Northern Ireland are smashing that myth to smithereens today. Link and snippets below:

    British and Irish ministers are to sign a deal to preserve the Common Travel Area after Brexit.

    It guarantees free movement for citizens crossing the Irish border and cross-border access for study and health care.

    Top of the agenda on Wednesday will be the signing of a memorandum of understanding preserving the Common Travel Area post Brexit.

    The Common Travel Area (CTA) gives UK and Irish citizens certain reciprocal rights in each others’ countries.

    The rights include largely unrestricted travel between each jurisdiction.

    It is an arrangement between the UK and Ireland which pre-dates their membership of the European Union.

    The memorandum will be signed by Cabinet Minister David Liddington and Tanaiste (Deputy prime minister) Simon Coveney. Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley will also be in attendance.

    Yet another scare-story they won’t be able to regurgitate in Indyref 2.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s