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Labour attacks Christmas “NHS news blackout”

Labour has criticised NHS bosses’ decision not to publish key performance data over the festive period, describing the move as a news blackout.

NHS England has decided to not publish its usual weekly datasets covering issues such as patient waiting times in A&E after this Friday, 19 December, until 9 January.

“It is highly unsatisfactory to have this news blackout over the crucial Christmas period. People can’t be kept in the dark,” said Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary.

He is urging Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, to honour his drive for greater transparency in the NHS by insisting the data, usually published every Friday, to come out normally.

NHS England’s decision follows last week’s performance data, which showed that record numbers of patients had not been treated in A&E inside the four-hour maximum waiting time and spent between four and 12 hours on a trolley waiting to be admitted.

Read more in The Guardian.

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