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Theresa May has been rebuked by the UK’s statistics watchdog for using a misleading comparison between the health services of England and Wales.

Sir David Norgrove said the minority prime minister had used two different measures to compare the waiting times in Accident & Emergency services in England and Wales.

She was trying to make Wales look bad in comparison to England.

Here’s his letter to the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones:

It says: “Thank you for your letter of 25 January, where you raised concerns about the Prime Minister’s comparison of accident and emergency performance in England and Wales.

“You are right to say that the comparison is not valid. The figure used for England refers to the accident and emergency wait time from the decision to admit to admission into another part of the health service. The figure used for Wales represents the entire time patients wait from arriving to leaving accident and emergency services, including the time from decision to admit to actual admission.

“Waiting time comparisons between UK countries are difficult, for a variety of reasons, including differences in data collection and in health service structure, the use of walk-in centres for example.

“It is clearly important to be able to compare health and social care service performance across the UK, particularly to learn lessons from different ways of doing things. I welcome current efforts to improve accessibility of the data and their comparability but strongly urge the need for faster progress.”

Of course, we know why Mrs May lied, don’t we? Or at least we can guess.

She wants to soften us up to the idea that the part-privatised English NHS is more efficient than the wholly-nationalised Welsh version. That way, she hopes to convince the public that private healthcare is a better option.

If the only way she thinks she can win the argument is by lying, then she has already lost.

The NHS is at its most efficient as a wholly-nationalised organisation, with funds pumped into providing the best healthcare possible for the people of the UK, rather than being funnelled into the pockets of rich executives and their shareholders who see health as a profit-making exercise for themselves, not a service to the country.

It is to be hoped that Opposition MPs remember this, next time Mrs May thinks it’s clever to commit contempt of Parliament by deliberately lying to her fellow MPs – and the public – and puts her on the spot for it.

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