Intended for healthcare professionals


Statistics would make Stalin proud

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 12 August 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:455
  1. Steven A Julious,
  2. Michael J Campbell,
  3. Steve George
  1. Statistician Reader in medical statistics Senior lecturer in public health medicine Medical Statistics and Computing, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD

    EDITOR,--The article by the Radical Statistics Health Group on indicators of success in the health service1 leads us to ask what the NHS stands for today. The answer seems to be No Honest Statistics. The use of flawed statistics is another example of Stalinism in the NHS.2 The government has radically transformed the NHS and knows that this has worked because it has the figures to prove it. Likewise, Stalin could prove the success of collective farming by his statistics on crop yield. The truth, however, was evident by the empty shelves in the shops.