Dear Ms Wells,
Thank you for your letter of 4 June to Professor Sir Ian Diamond about the use of unpublished statistics by the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care relating to hospital admissions for children.
As you said, the figure used was not available publicly at the time the statement was made. I am pleased that the figure has subsequently been published by the Scottish Government. This has also clarified the definition used to determine COVID-19 admissions to hospital: “A patient may have tested positive for COVID-19 up to 14 days prior to admission to hospital, on the day of their admission or during their stay in hospital.”
Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation, has written to the Chief Statistician at Scottish Government today to reiterate our expectation that when statistics are used publicly to inform parliaments or the media they should be published in an accessible form with appropriate explanation.
Sir David Norgrove