A row has erupted over Jeremy Hunts statement in the commons suggesting the statistics he has are incorrect. Hunt suggests Only 10% of patients on weekends are being assessed by a consultant. Experts on statistics refute this suggesting 79% of patients get to see a consultant, but this figure is over a 7 day week.
So if 21% of patients over a week do not see a consultant, could Hunt figure also be correct. The fact is we wont know? But the questions to ask is, can the government make sure that the statistics are good and accepted before vital decisions are made on whether a 7 day NHS is possible.
What both statistics suggest is that there remains a risk that patients will not see the right doctor on a weekend. A medical emergency does not take the weekend off. The obejective is therefore clear, and the research supports it. So lets avoid rows about the research and just get the right people treating patients at the right time.
The new row is over Hunt’s assertion to MPs on 28 October that “currently, across all key specialties, in only 10% of our hospitals are patients seen by a consultant within 14 hours of being admitted at the weekend”. Three experts in statistics, who at the Guardian’s request reviewed the NHS data on which Hunt based his claim, said that the average percentage of patients assessed by a senior doctor within 14 hours – across all hospitals, specialties and the whole week – is around 79%. ProfDavid Spiegelhalter, one of Britain’s leading statisticians, said the evidence did not support Hunt’s claim. “The data from NHS England don’t seem to match up with the minister’s statement in the Commons. The average across all hospitals and specialties is 79% seeing a consultant within 14 hours.