Yesterday I blogged about some dubious interpretations of statistics by politicians. Here, the House of Commons Library fact checks David Cameron’s claim at PMQs yesterday that A&E waiting times are falling.
Yesterday at PMQs the Prime Minister stated:
When [Labour was in Government], the average waiting time [in A&E] was 77 minutes; under this Government, it is 30 minutes.
This claim has been made a number of times by Ministers in the House of Commons. But other reports indicate that that A&E performancehas declined, with the 4-hour target having been missed in England’s major departments every week since last July. So where does the PM’s claim come from, and is it correct? Here I’ll suggest that it relies on a simplistic reading of the data, and that the measure he refers to is not the most natural indicator of the “average waiting time” in A&E.
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