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by Tom Freeman
18 February 2015
Labour admit FOI mistake on A&E figures

Labour admit FOI mistake on A&E figures

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Jenny Marra has admitted a claim made by leader Jim Murphy on Glasgow’s A&E statistics was “a mistake.”

In an online video yesterday, similar to the one pictured, Murphy said the rate of operations cancelled in the greater Glasgow area was “four times” the figure in England, based on information Labour had received through a freedom of information request, but this morning Marra admitted it was "a mistake in interpretation of a Freedom of Information response".

Labour had used figures including operations which were cancelled for clinical reasons, while the English figure was only operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons. The party removed the video during the afternoon.

Speaking to a BBC Radio programme this morning, Marra said it proved greater transparency was needed in the NHS. "Mistakes are made but the point is we had to resort to these laws to get the information that was required," she said.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said Murphy had been “caught red-handed fiddling waiting times figures”. Over 200 of the 292 operations cancelled in Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board were cancelled for clinical reasons, she said.

“There are undoubtedly pressures in our NHS – but the last thing staff and indeed patients need is to have politicians touring the country whipping up panic with false claims such as these,” she said, after announcing A&E stats would be reported weekly from May.

For analysis on how all the political parties are using Scotland’s NHS as an election battleground, see Holyrood's analysis

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