You wouldn't think "Where did you get that from?" was a controversial question nor that it would be grounds to get huffy and defensive yet with many Unionists (And especially Yoons) asking for a source is akin to calling them gibbering madmen.
Okay so perhaps I was more snarky than I needed to be but there was a particular reason I was so incredulous over these numbers being provided.
The claim is over the course of the year, 2015/16, 177'042 more bed days were occupied by a person.
That's roughly 485 beds per day.Now let's be clear, this isn't a total tally of all patients, just patients who were kept longer than perhaps was needed, maybe, and the number quoted by Edinburgh Western CLP is around 20% of the Lothian population.
Now it's entirely likely that there were patients that were kept around for more than one day but even so this is on top of patients whose discharges from their hospital were not delayed.
Yet it actually gets funnier as the number per day? 485, The Western General Hospital in Edinburgh holds 570 beds.
So by the information given, every day close to an entire hospitals worth of patents ate up beds which may or may not have been around 20% of the Lothian population.
Naturally, I had questions, so when Western came back with vague 'It's from the NHS' that was, in fact, no answer at all I went looking to the Information Services Division, part of NHS National Services Scotland provides health information, health intelligence, statistical services and advice as I figured they'd have the answer.
Where I found this;
Allow me to quote the Introduction;
"This is the first annual publication of delayed discharge information and presents a summary of the number of bed days occupied by delayed discharge patients and the number of patients classified as a delayed discharge at each monthly census point. Figures are presented up to March 2016. "
What the ISD is telling us, is that per month, 213 bed days were lost over 2015/2016.
Western is telling us that 485 bed days were lost per day.
I bet that last snarky tweet doesn't seem snarky enough now does it?
Oh but it gets better.
We have a freedom of information request is not an answer to the question I asked.
There are no restrictions on sharing an FOI either and simply saying that you have a source is not proof that you have a source, and wanting to see said source so you can find out how you came to this conclusion is not Unreasonable.
In fact, the refusal to show simply invites the suspicion that it doesn't exist.It is Schrodinger's source, in effect.
This is a frustrating theme with Unionist twitter, ask about where they got their information and a lot of the time you'll have to commandeer their twitter notifications before you'll get an answer. It's the silliest thing to do when you're providing facts to be seen to be as credible but then refuse to provide those facts to prove credibility.
Then western did what frankly pushes this from Unionist actions into outright yoonery.
Okay, yes In this article I am questioning whether or not this alleged source of information exists but that's only because I don't have it to know it exists.
Up to this point, all I had done was ask if I could see it and been a bit snarky. I had in fact not questioned it as I hadn't seen it. I had at most, found contradictory information, was asking to see his information to compare and come to an informed conclusion.
Western's response is to go trawling through my twitter feed and deny me based on the contents because that worked so well for the Chicken Coups leadership bid.
At the time of writing, I still haven't gotten a reply asking for a copy of this FOI.
So naturally all I have to go on is ISD assessment of the year.
The sum total shows that the number Western quoted is fictitious to the point of outright lie, that nationally the entirety of delayed discharges are down 9% from the previous year, three-quarters of those are aged 75+ which account for just 1 in 12 of the occupied bed total and happens because they either need more time to be secure in the accommodations post-release or because they're incapacitated.
Assuming that NHS Lothian doesn't possess a disproportionate share of these statistics then this comes off less as a failure of their hospitals and more that sick people aren't being shoved into the cold as soon as they're fit to be wheelchaired out the door.
That doesn't sound like any failure to me, certainly not as Western makes it out to be, and I know a country that agrees.
Perhaps if this vaunted FOI had been more forthcoming I might not have come to that conclusion but ultimately I can only put my confidence into sources I can actually see as opposed to just taking a Labour branches sneering assurance that it exists as they refuse to show it.
It's actually funny when you think about it though because;
A sneering contempt for explaining yourself to the electorate?
The self-entitled belief that you're word is better than evidence?
The faulty belief that your lacking wit and put downs is enough to end a debate?
Oh yeah right, that's the tactics of the Tories, the same party that Labour claims to abhor and takes every chance to demonise.
I don't know why Western thinks emulating their parties supposed greatest enemy is a way to prove his faulty numbers are accurate, I can only suspect It's because they're not all that confident in this mythical FOI.
All of that could have been avoided for what would have taken but a few minutes to either scan in a letter or copy a link and tweet it to avoid it.
No wonder Labour are in dire straits if this is their idea of voter engagement.