Media & Jarman claim 20k avoidable NHS deaths. Why it’s nonsense.

Just noticed that the Daily Fail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2364765/20-000-extra-NHS-deaths-Labours-watch-amid-calls-site-inspectors-struggling-hospital.html) re-ran Brian Jarman’s old ’20k needless deaths’ claim early on Tuesday morning, ahead of the publication of the Keogh report. There’s no question from the content of their article that the intent was to turn up the heat on Andy Burnham and to try even harder to dislodge Labour as the party of the NHS.
Well, that’s egg, sausage and chips all over their faces now, since Bruce Keogh completely disavowed the 13k deaths claim in a private email (http://skwawkbox.org/2013/07/15/national-media-keogh-says-13k-nhs-deaths-keogh-er-no-i-dont/) as well as most emphatically in his report.
The lurid death-headlines, from Mid Staffs to Basildon and Thurrock and every point in between, are now thoroughly discredited – but I’d lay money it’s not the last we’ll see of them. The aims of the government and the right-wing media, and Prof Jarman’s increasingly desperate attempts to restore his dysfunctional statistical system to what he considers its rightful place, fit too well together for them to let little matters like obvious truth stop them trying.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Fail to apologise or publicly retract its claims. Do watch out for more rehashed ‘news’ (and no doubt lots of pictures of the equally-dysfunctional Julie Bailey and her Cure mafia), as the media attempts not to let the facts get in the way of a ‘good’ (from their point of view) story.
Since the 20k death myth appears to be persisting even though its as thoroughly nonsensical as the 13k deaths claim, here’s a reblog of why it’s pure, propagandist, nonsense.


  1. Steve, I am having extreme difficulty accessing links from your site, I do not know whether it is a problem from my computer or your end, have you had any complaints or reason to believe your site is under attack. Mervyn

    Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2013 09:33:37 +0000 To: mervynhyde@msn.com

  2. I am just disgusted with the whole of the TV and press media plus all the Inconsistences of stories from Julie Bailey and her crew of cure the NHS, that when started was all about patient care but now is just about how much TV and media attention they can get by constantly exaggerating the facts and getting paid for interviews. The next interview will probably have the 20,000 figure increased to 30,000 and they will all have had relatives falling out of bed and drinking out of Invisible Vases all this while the caring lot of cure the NHS sat by there relatives beds and never called a nurse or picked up someone who had supposedly fell on the floor and was in total fear and agony as they sat there looking into there eye’s. What the media haven’t realized yet is that all the nursing staff at Stafford Hospital are related to Genghis Kahn so how do the patients expect to be treated.

  3. Steve, please get back to Not The Talk – you’ve got some people who need a little bit of persuading to say the least!

    1. Although reading the article they don’t seem to make the logical leap that Keogh’s rubbishing of using mortality rates to estimate unnecessary deaths also applies to Mid-Staffs.

      1. Exactly – already tweeted to the author about it. I’ve written to Keogh to, to ask him for a comment but no response yet.

  4. “Where did that 13,000 come from? Not from Keogh’s meticulous report. With an innocent face, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, protested: “I don’t know how that number was put out there.” It came from No 10 briefers, and was quickly refuted by Keogh, who called it “clinically meaningless and academically reckless”. It was also promoted by Professor Sir Brian Jarman, author of the Dr Foster hospital guide.

    Professor Sir Mike Rawlins, recent chair of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), new president of the Royal Society of Medicine, is crisp in his dismissal: “To claim, as Brian Jarman has done, thousands of deaths, is a complete distortion of the statistics.”


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