Thursday, 25 September 2008

Alan Johnson's speech at the Labour Party Conference

Just caught the umpteenth rerun of this, yadda yadda, blah blah blah, but this stuck in the craw:

In the mid 1990s infection rates rocketed in understaffed and dilapidated hospitals. Last week I announced that NHS staff had succeeded in cutting MRSA infections, not by half as envisaged but by 57% in three years.

Woah! Fact check!

Deaths from MRSA increased from 51 in 1993 to 800 in 2002 (BBC)

Deaths from MRSA increased from 955 in 2003 to 1,168 in 2004 (The Torygraph)

Deaths from MRSA fell slightly from 1,652 in 2006 to 1,593 in 2007 "the first time the number of MRSA-related deaths has fallen since the ONS began keeping records in 1993" (BBC).

So we are still way above the numbers back in 1997, eh lads?

Meanwhile, the number of death certificates mentioning Clostridium difficile increased from under 2,000 in 2003 to over 8,000 in 2007 (BBC).

If you're going to tell Big Fat Lies, don't lie about things that can be disproven by scratting around for twenty minutes on the internet, FFS! Ah well, at least Tractor Production is up, I suppose ...


The Great Simpleton said...

So they cut MRSA infections by just over half (he really is playing games on this point) in 3 years - to which one ust ask:
1. Why didn't you do it when you came in to office if it was that bad?

2. If it wasn't that bad that we needed urgent action then, why has it got so bad that we need urgent action now?

3. Why haven't you bought a gun on the black market and done a "Columbine" on the on the Cabinet?

dearieme said...

They killed my father-in-law with MRSA, according to the Registrar on the ward, but when my wife raised the issue with the Consultant he denied it entirely. The death certificate said that he died of old age.

TheFatBigot said...

Tut, tut, Mr W. We must always read the words of ZanuLabour's pronouncements very carefully.

"NHS staff ... succeeded in cutting MRSA infections ... by 57% in three years."

This is true in each of the following four scenarios (and countless others, no doubt):

(i) MRSA infections caused directly by those employed by the NHS reduced by 57%. Infections caused by floors, beds, agency nurses, self-employed doctors, surgical gown etc are not counted. (ii) In NHS hospitals cleaned by NHS employed cleaners, infection rates fell by 57%. A greater fall in hospitals cleaned by non-NHS employees is left out of account.
(iii) The annual rate of increase of MRSA infections in NHS hospitals fell by 57%.
(iv) A nominal rate of home-induced MRSA infection is introduced into the statistics. Sink estate = 100% home based infection; other council tenant = 82%; private tenant = 73%; owner-occupier (working class) = 66%; owner-occupier (lower middle class) = 60%; owner-occupier (upper middle class) = not in NHS hospital; Owner-occupier (Islington) = 0%. Overall result, 57% less caused directly or indirectly by NHS employees.

Philip Thomas said...

This is why politicians should have to carry graphs for the whole period with them. Then we could point out that that small dip is but a blip on an otherwise upward climb. If I was the presenter of a politics show, I'd have a dozens of them made up on posterboard ready to be whipped out whenever they start getting tricky.

P.S. Mark, where did you get the graphic link for the Brown calculator?

Mark Wadsworth said...

PT< exactly. I have emailed jpg.

Tim Almond said...

"MRSA infections caused directly by those employed by the NHS reduced by 57%. Infections caused by floors, beds, agency nurses, self-employed doctors, surgical gown etc are not counted."

Oh, FFS. So, the NHS didn't cause those things, despite the fact that it selected the subcontractors who caused those things.

Imagine the left-wing outrage from the Guardian if Sainsburys started saying that... "well, a load of people did get poisoned by the cold meat that we sold with our name on the packet, but as it was caused by our fridges breaking down, and we don't make those, then it's not our fault".