Dear Sir David,

Misleading statistics used by the Scottish Government for Test and Protect

I write to you regarding the above matter.

Following media reports this weekend, I am deeply concerned to learn that the Scottish Government has been publishing Test and Protect figures that significantly overestimate its performance in meeting the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) target, which states that “at least 80% of new cases” should “have their close contacts traced and in quarantine within 72 hours of case confirmation.”

The figures that have been published to date are misleading as they do not include “failed” cases. When the 72-hour success rate calculation is done with the failed cases added in, the 80% WHO target has actually been missed by Test and Protect over the period since records began (week ending Aug 9, 2020, to week ending September 12, 2021).

The correct use of statistics is vital, particularly when we are encouraging everyone to take regular tests to stop the spread of the virus. It is imperative that the public have faith in the accuracy and truthfulness of the data that is published by the Scottish Government. As such, I would be grateful if you could investigate this matter and take appropriate action as you see fit.

Yours sincerely,

Jackie Baillie MSP


Related links:

Response from Sir David Norgrove to Jackie Baillie MSP: Test and Protect Statistics

Ed Humpherson to Scott Heald: Test and Protect statistics