Scottish NHS (Indy)

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Media coverage of the Scottish NHS is biased against it. The media in general, and in particular the BBC, comment only on Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, and hope that people will take problems there as a sign that the whole edifice of NHS Scotland is crumbling under the Scottish Government.

However, enormous numbers of people use the NHS in Scotland, and know that it is working, despite a growing increase in demand;

  • There are 4.5 million Out-Patient Department appointments per year, of which 1.5 million (one-third) are first-time appointments. Waiting-time targets may be missed, but given the demand, and the fact that 10% of those first-time appointments don’t turn up, it is doing well.
  • Each month there are between 100,000 and 130,000 attendances at A&E. The majority, around 84%-88%, are seen, dealt with and discharged within 4 hours.
  • Each month there are between 25,000 and 30,000 planned operations. Usually fewer than 10% are cancelled: in a significant proportion of that 10%, it is the patient who cancels the operation.
  • Finally, 5.1 million people in Scotland are registered with an NHS dentist, out of a population of 5.4 million.

The NHS in Scotland is under pressure from increased demand, but it is still working for the vast majority of users, and the Scottish Government has taken steps to increase staff and put money into the problem areas.

The media should note these facts.