BBC Scotland’s fake news on GPs ‘overwhelmed’ by workloads

According to BBC Scotland News today:

‘Patients should get appointments with GPs lasting at least 15 minutes rather than 10, according to the Royal College of GPs. In a report, it warns nearly 40% of GPs in Scotland feel overwhelmed by their workload at least once a week.’

Neither the report by the Royal College of General Practitioners. Fit for the future: a vision for general practice. May 2019. nor its compendium of evidence contain any such phrase. The word ‘overwhelmed’ does not appear at all and the word ‘workload’ is never associated with ‘Scotland’ or indeed with any figure but, in the BBC report (only), we see this:

‘RCGP Scotland chairwoman Dr Carey Lunan said: “Nearly 40% of GPs report that they feel so overwhelmed by their daily tasks that they feel they cannot cope at least once per week.’

The claim seems to be based entirely on an interview with Dr Lunan. We do not know whether she refers to the whole sample or to some Scottish sub-set available to her. Neither the report nor the compendium of evidence provides any raw data broken down into a Scottish sub-set. There is, of course, no methodology offered.

Perhaps there is another report, unspecified by the BBC or by Dr Lunan. I’d be happy to see and consider it, especially its methodology, but the RCGP only seem to have this one.

Scotland is mentioned in the report but only in positive sense. See these:

Page 8: In Scotland, 83% of people rate the overall care provided by their GP practice positively.

Page 9:

Page 27: Scotland: Numbers of nurses increased by 7% between 2009–17, whilst the number of health support workers (HSW) has increased by 37% from 2013–17. Other health staff most commonly working in practices are pharmacists, health visitors and midwives.

Page 41: Regular telephone/VC case conferences with speciality consultant colleagues at our main referring hospital and our GPs has vastly improved both our confidence in complex case management and reduced hugely me consuming (due to great distance) hospital appointments. It has also ensured referrals made are more appropriate.

There are no negative comments regarding GPs and their workloads anywhere in the 60 pages of the Compendium of Evidence.







15 thoughts on “BBC Scotland’s fake news on GPs ‘overwhelmed’ by workloads

  1. Legerwood June 5, 2019 / 9:38 am

    There seems to be a growing number of these reports/surveys from a variety of professional bodies and unions being headlined in the MSM in Scotland. Their apparently negative/apocalyptic message is blazoned over the front pages but when you read the actual report few, if any, contain any specific evidence of a Scottish sub-set of data or, if based on Scottish data, any indication of the sample size and its relation to the total Scottish complement.

    Recent examples include surveys from NASUWT on teacher stress and from Unison Scotland on ambulance workers.

    All the MSM want is the headline and the more negative the better and the near certainty that few will read the article and fewer still question the statistics and yet fewer read the actual report and thus realise the article is a load of tosh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gavin June 5, 2019 / 10:06 am

      As the man says it is “Fake News”.

      Only its REAL Fake News!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Scott June 5, 2019 / 10:41 am

    John,I don’t know if this would be of any interest.

    £4m boost for A&E.

    The A&E department at St John’s Hospital is set to be expanded and revamped as part of an ambitious £3.96m project

    It was a small piece in the Tory P&J below the article it said West Lothian Courier.

    Is this the hospital that Leonard and Baillie are always on about??


    • Legerwood June 5, 2019 / 11:59 am

      I think it is the children’s ward/dept in that hospital they are always going on about


      • Janet Johnstone June 6, 2019 / 1:27 pm

        The children’s ward was open for day patients only on a temporary basis as there were no staff to cover nights. I believe the situation has been resolved, although you would struggle to find much mention of it in the press


  3. tcrosbie20 June 6, 2019 / 9:34 am

    Sterling work prof, are you sure your name is not Columbo 🙂 Your detective skills are excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Davy S June 7, 2019 / 3:46 pm

    Sterling work again John. I watched the item on GPs and thought the most newsworthy thing was that almost two thirds appeared to have been supportive! I’m sure most of us would claim we could improve our performance with more time and higher funding. Problem is your piece only appears on a site where few of us are gullible enough to be taken in by their bias and lies. Challenge is to get this information to those that are unaware. Although I suppose with our courts protecting unionist politicians when they tell lies, their supportive media will continue to have a free reign.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tommy thomson June 7, 2019 / 7:37 pm

    I’m a supporter of Scottish Independence, but reading the article in question;
    Its clear to me that counter to the report of fake news, the quotes are there.

    Inform Scotland have themselves made an error, it seems. If so, it does not serve the aim of achieving a fair reporting climate.


    • johnrobertson834 June 8, 2019 / 11:20 am

      Is the argument that this is really a territorial/resource dispute between a powerful higher-paid group (GPs) and a system becoming more inclusive of highly capable but less well-paid professionals?


      • tommy thomson June 8, 2019 / 1:24 pm

        It may be so John. I’m not familiar enough with the facts to say – which is of course, the point.

        I’m unsure most of the time of being certain that reports from any source are based on facts and actual statements. Its an awful state of affairs. News reporting has been so discredited (thank you BBC) that I am now seeking refuge in the -broad news reporting- of Ch4 News and government/opposition statements.

        At a time when social (?) media can disseminate junk to the populace with surgical precision to feed any identified bias, a the likes of The Daily Mail can devote years to nudging its readership towards an end – that is unfettered hatred of newcomers and non-conformists, we need truthful and unbiased broadcast news to be on its game.

        We are living in perilous times.


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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s