Staggers Shambles as NHS Remains State Run

The New Statesman site descended into a shambles this morning after they ran a story on an apparent hushed-up plan to privatise the NHS that turned out to be complete and utter rubbish. It sounded too good to be true…

George Eaton reported that Andrew Lansley was sneakily set to announce that the 49% cap on private work done by NHS trusts would be abolished:

“When the government unveils a policy change on a Friday it’s a sure sign that it doesn’t want you to notice. Today, Andrew Lansley will announce that the 49% cap on private work done by NHS hospitals, which his bill introduced, will be abolished. In other words, the Health Secretary has just opened the door to the full-scale privatisation of the NHS, with hospitals able to raise 100% of their income from private healthcare.”

The left exploded in uproar, even Labour MPs got involved:

https://twitter.com/marycreagh_mp/status/223707457296408576

Unfortunately for the Staggers, the whole story turned out to be entirely untrue. They updated their post with a statement from the Department of Health, leaving Eaton and co with egg on their faces: “The Department of Health has been in touch to say that the cap is not being removed, rather that the planned 49% limit will be introduced from 1 October 2012″. Guido is disappointed that it was just rumour of an NHS privatisation, but a little Staggers schadenfreude provides some consolation…

UPDATE: The New Statesman are now trying to blame the cock-up on some sloppy churnalism from the FT, but the LibDems are in no doubt as to where the blame lies:




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The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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