Health Secretary Warned Over False Waiting Times Data

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

The UK Statistics Authority has warned Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt over false information he gave over accident and emergency waiting times in England.

On 2 July David Cameron stated that the average wait time for an accident and emergency assessment had fallen from 77 minutes to 30 minutes since the coalition came into power.

A week later, Jeremy Hunt reported the same statistic, but stated that it was a “median wait” as opposed to a “mean” wait.

Sir Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, stated that Mr Hunt “may wish to take advice on whether he should correct the parliamentary record.”

In response, a government spokesperson stated that it had “simply been a slip of the tongue on Mr Hunt’s part and that the numbers used by him and the prime minister were accurate.” 

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