Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has written to the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) about the Prime Minister’s “selective misuse” of data following her attempt to deflect criticism of the health service’s performance onto the Welsh NHS at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Jones’ intervention is the second time the Government has been called up on its use of statistics, with senior Tory MPs condemning the “disingenuous” use of data to stifle the much needed discussion about NHS pressures.
In the Commons on Wednesday Ms May claimed the number of patients forced to wait more than 12 hours in A&E in Wales, which has a Labour government, is nearly eight times higher than in England.
However hospitals in England only measure 12 hour waits from the time a senior clinician has seen the patient and made a decision that they should be admitted.
In Wales the countdown begins at the point the patient registers at A&E.
Senior NHS doctors told The Independent the English figures “in no way reflect the time patients spent in A&E” and warned that actual numbers of breaches may be higher.
Ms May, at Prime Minister’s Questions, said: “The latest figures show that, in England, 497 people were waiting more than 12 hours, but the latest figures also show that, under the Labour Government in Wales, 3,741 people were waiting more than 12 hours.”