Jeremy Hunt Tells Junior Doctors Not To ‘Argue About Statistics’, After Questionable Use Of Statistics

Jeremy Hunt has been mocked for appealing for junior doctors to not “argue about statistics” after his own were roundly condemned.

The Health Secretary repeatedly claimed that 6,000 more people died in NHS care at weekends each year, during his fight over a new contract that led to a wave of strikes.

The claim was his rhetorical centrepiece of the Government’s troubled efforts to hand junior doctors a new contract.

But it was repeatedly questioned or denied, including by the British Medical Journal, where the study he cherry-picked the figure from was published.

Oxford University researchers later said there was “very little evidence” for the claim.

Hunt also triggered a fresh row when it emerged the data he had seen was unverified and unpublished at the time.

At the Tory Party Conference on Tuesday, Hunt said: “I say to the BMA and all junior doctors: Let’s not argue about statistics or whether we can do more to raise standards for patients. The NHS you believe in is the NHS we are building.

“So call off the strikes for good and start working with us to deliver safer care, seven days a week, for patients and their families.”

Hunt’s dismissal of statistics triggered a round of mockery on Twitter, where he was accused of dismissing arguments about statistics “having lost the argument about statistics”.

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