Why? Because it’s what they do with any media-induced scare story on NHS Scotland. See this from only two weeks ago:
THIS latest interim report on NHS Tayside, published yesterday has been headlined all day in BBC Scotland broadcasts in dramatic terms with claims of the abuse of ‘patients.’ The 22-page interim report, however, is essentially a padded-for-impressions account of generic anecdotal comments with no real statistical substance that could be used to inform the public. The investigation has no methodology. There are no research questions. There is no sampling technique. There are no criteria for evaluating the results. There is no apparent mechanism for checking the accuracy of any comment made by any patient, relative or staff member. Remarkably, the report claims to have engaged with more than one thousand individuals but there is no sign of the University of Dundee and its Professor Stonebridge who has written in the media defending the service.
Critically we do not hear how many patients have complained or have had complaints made on their behalf nor do we hear how many patients have been treated in the same time period and, consequently, what percentage the first group represents. Reporting Scotland are able to present only one case. So, we do not know how representative complaints are of the system as a whole and thus we do not know if there is a level of problems typical of such institutions which might be dealt with locally or whether there is a level suggesting a wider problem that you might describe as a crisis.
This is important because if we do not know the answers to these fundamental questions then reporting of the kind we have seen on BBC Scotland, will not serve the public interest and may actually cause damage to the system being reported on.
Some earlier media reports on complaints made on behalf of patients at The Carseview Centre clearly related to only one or two out of the hundreds treated there and cannot be used as reliable evidence of wider practice there.
Neither the Independent Inquiry not the BBC report considered the expert opinion of Professor Stonebridge of the University of Dundee who asserts that there is no special problem in NHS Tayside. See:
‘NHS Tayside has claimed rates of violence and restraint in its mental health services are not excessive compared with other health boards, after an internal report claimed patients in Dundee had been pinned to the floor for too long and in a dangerous position.’
The professor does not fit the agenda here. The ‘Independent Inquiry’ report is available here: