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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Dear Jeremy Hunt, these are the facts about your interview on The Andrew Marr Show

Dear Jeremy Hunt, I see that you have managed to find an excuse not to talk to Ralf Little because you feel that he has not proven that you misled the public in your interview on The Andrew Marr show on the 29th of October 2017.  For the record, you did mislead the public.  But as you want proof, let us go through your statements in that interview.

You start by answering the question posed about if mental health provision has got better or worse by saying it has got better.  You discuss the number of contacts where patients have had contact with the mental health services using that to claim that the services have improved.  But you ignore how the police are having to deal mental health issues in increasing numbers.  Officers point to an increase of more than 50% in a decade in the use of powers to detain people under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

1:00 - When asked about how long a child with a mental health issue should wait for treatment, you cite targets which have been put in place for eating disorders.  However, the Children's Commissioner has raised many concerns about child mental health which proves that your aspirations, while admirable, are not helping children as much as needed at the moment.

1:40 - you mention child psychiatrist numbers, but you forget to mention that numbers have fallen.  An article last year stated that numbers are the lowest in seven years.

3:00 - You claim that the numbers of nurses in mental health have not met what the nation needs, as effort has been put into place to increase nursing numbers after Mid Staffs.  But you ignore the huge issues with the nursing shortage that have existed under your watch, and as this graph shows, how this has got worse during your watch.

3:35 - You state that hospitals were unsafe in the past.  But you forget those patients who died in hospital corridors during the last winter bed crisis!  Of course, your view was crisis, what crisis which is a view not shared by those who worked through it to help those patients treated by the NHS during this time.

3:55 - You rightly cited that the number of training places for nurses have increased, but official figures actually show that there are less student nurses compared to before now.

4:25 - You state that the numbers of those working in mental health have increased, but by saying so, you ignore how the number of unfilled consultant psychiatric posts have doubled in the last four years.

5:25 - You state that the number of mental health beds have been increased during the last year.  In September, a judge described the lack of secure mental health beds as scandalous.  If you have sorted this issue out, why did the judge say this?

6:25 - You refer to increasing the numbers of those being trained to treat mental health.  This graph shows that there are large numbers of posts to train psychiatrists that are unfilled.

11:55 - When you comment on the nurse in A&E seeing patients, you forget to mention those who attend Accident and Emergency inappropriately, instead blaming the ageing population.  Probably because you refused to use the NHS properly when it came to seeking medical advice out of hours.

15:05 - You state that harm in the NHS is nothing (or not principally) to do with resources.  However, your own comments on the 1st of December about how outcomes and finances are linked appears to say otherwise.

15:39 - You cite the Commonwealth fund report which rated the NHS as number one, but you ignore that it came second worst with health outcomes.

In summary, what you said was factually correct, but as shown in this blog post, you have misled the public as you have only told part of the truth on these matters.  Your refusal to discuss the matters that you glossed over either indicates intent or incompetence.  And while many who work in the NHS think that you are incompetent, I feel that your statements on the NHS to Andrew Marr were deliberate.

 Last of all, there are a few more graphs showing how the NHS has fared under your care.  But again, despite allegations that you are incompetent, you know about these figures already.

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