Is it policy to undermine NHS?

MP Chris Heaton-Harris’ recent article on stillbirths misuses the statistics in the Lancet review to give the impression that the NHS is failing to maintain acceptable levels of health care in this country.

Stillbirth rates per thousand of 33rd out of 35 well off nations sounds terrible. 33rd out of 135 countries sounds better, a rate of four per thousand on a scale from two to 46 per thousand sounds like the NHS is doing a fair job.

Mr Heaton-Harris selected the figure that best supported his Conservative policy of denigrating the work of the NHS. All part of an MP’s job, misleading the public. What I find unacceptable is that he should combine this with the grief of affected parents.

I was also surprised to read, in your article on page 5, that following “a period where EMAS has frequently been placed among the worst in the country for response times”, “The ambulance station in Daventry will be closed as part of plans to increase response times”.

Is this part of a government strategy to reduce pressure on the NHS budget by allowing casualties to die (of old age?) before an ambulance reaches them?

Bill Adam