A shocking revelation today exposed the collusion between a national newspaper and an independent health information manipulator to be based on flawed data and groundless inference.

A Perfect Business Model

Dr Bluster Insinuation Ltd is a private company that uses freely available public information about hospital activity and applies sophisticated statistical analysis to it in order to draw inferences about the quality of care provided by the NHS. A spokesman for Dr Bluster said – “Our clever tools can literally turn garbage data into pure gold” – “We take this free public information, make a big fuss of it and then sell it back to the public sector and to national newspapers”.

Accounts filed with companies house for 2012 show that Dr Bluster Insinuation Ltd turned over £22 million. Another spokesman said “Its alright though, one of our major shareholders is the government – so the public sector profits from our profit really – no honestly”

Making a Meal of it

It was revealed today that Dr Bluster has a covert relationship with the Daily Meal – using this national platform as publicity for its services – exploiting the paranoia of the readership about public services and the NHS in particular. “Its a perfect partnership” said an insider “we feed them stories based on pure inference and they jump to the conclusions they want to – its a great way to sell papers”. It was revealed through our investigation that Dr Bluster has been releasing embargoed reports to the Daily Meal before revealing them to the Hospitals about whom they are making the groundless insinuations. “Its quite entertaining watching hospital spokesmen trying to respond to our allegations when they haven’t even seen the report or our analysis” – “By the time they get the reports and work out that our allegations are not supported by the data everyone else has got bored and moved on”

Data Undermining

The Daily Meal made the following statement:

“Our mission is to undermine public confidence in the NHS because we believe in the private provision of healthcare – Our readers would deservedly benefit from this because they are wealthy and pay taxes where as the poor don’t”

The Daily Meal claim that the NHS costs too much and isn’t very good – even though independent international comparisons of healthcare systems made by the Commonwealth Fund (A United States healthcare think tank) rate the NHS as the best value healthcare system in the World and ranks it second for health outcomes amongst Europe, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“We don’t report stuff like that because our readers don’t want to know” said the Daily Meal.

In an unguarded moment Dr Bluster said the following:

“We are experts in ‘Big Data’ – we mine the huge volumes of data that come out of the NHS for stories we can sell – I suppose you could call it gold digging”

A Knight in Shining Armour

Professor White (Knight in Shining Armour) – a clever man who works in public health – has said that it is a scandalous misuse of statistics to make these claims. If you look at mortality data through a PRISM you can see that there is absolutely no correlation between the numbers and the actual quality of care provided to patients. If we really want to improve the care of patients in the NHS you have to look at every case and learn from the mistakes we make. One of the biggest mistakes we make is to deny people who are inevitably dying access to palliative care.

Authors Note

I hope you enjoyed this piece of fiction. I do not take any responsibility for any conclusions you may jump to about persons or organisations existing being referred to in this blog. The views mis-represented here are entirely my own and have nothing to do with my employer

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