Confusion reigns over official health statistics

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 08 February 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:393
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    The explanation given for the mix up over figures released last week on NHS spending has left statisticians puzzled and confused.

    On 30 January the Office for National Statistics withdrew from sale the latest edition of Social Trends after claiming that a chart which showed that government spending on the NHS had fallen by £1bn ($1.5bn) over three years in real terms was a mistake.

    The figures ran contrary to ministers repeated declarations that NHS spending under the Conservative government has increased year on year.

    Within 24 hours of the “error” having been spotted, …

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