The UK Health Minister Jeremy Hunt has accused of misleading the public and using pseudo science after it emerged that a study he used to justify the call for a seven-day NHS and for the imposition of a new junior doctor’s strike is flawed.
Professor Peter Rothwell, from Oxford University, said his research showed that the higher death rates allegedly recorded at weekedns were actually due to systemic clerical errors in the coding of hospital admissions.
Another study argued that people admitted at the weekend were sicker, and therefore, more likely to die.
From the Daily Mail:
The ‘weekend effect’ in hospitals may NOT exist: Expert claims figures are skewed because admissions aren’t recorded correctly
‘Weekend effect’ has been key part of Jeremy Hunt’s contract reforms
But researchers said differences in death rates at weekend is an illusion
When deaths are recorded accurately the ‘weekend effect’ disappears
Echoes findings of similar study last week which chalked higher death rates down to more seriously ill patients being admitted at weekends
By MADLEN DAVIES FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 09:03 GMT, 9 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:29 GMT, 9 May 2016
Higher death rates at the weekend have been central to Jeremy Hunt’s argument for a contract reform. But a new study suggests the argument is based on ‘flawed data’