Jeremy Hunt has been criticised for making false claims in the past. Recently, Ralf Little of TV’s The Royle Family took odds with a claim that Hunt made. Little provided a robust response that he backed up with links to relevent reporting. Hunt responded by saying that Little’s post lacked evidence. But Little isn’t letting it go.
The dispute began when Little criticised Hunt’s appearance on BBC‘s The Andrew Marr Show:
4,300 more employed by mental health trusts, 2,700 more employed in talking therapies, 1400 more people treated every day since 2010. Isn’t it ur job 2 find a major European country that’s done better and faster rather than make assertions you can’t support? I double dare you
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) November 8, 2017
Clearly Hunt was in a playful mood – despite the fact that the NHS is yet again facing a tough winter, and we’re losing more nurses than we’re gaining. Even Hunt himself has said that the level of care being provided is in some cases “completely unacceptable”. But Hunt has been the Health Secretary since 2012, so he quite literally has no one to blame but himself.
Little accepted Hunt’s challenge and provided a rigorous 42-tweet reponse:
The response Hunt provided seemed at odds with what Little had actually said:
On mental health, listen to Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, here with an independent perspective on how mental health services are improving and expanding: https://t.co/OdLglbH9tN
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) November 14, 2017
Little has now replied to Hunt’s lacklustre defence:
It’s important to note that actual users of mental health services have had something to say. One such person said to Little:
Take me with you Ralf. I would like to assist with some ‘fact checking’ based on lived experience. https://t.co/Idyi7Neiow
— rachel 🌈 (@lovebillybragg) November 19, 2017
Hunt’s post, meanwhile, attracted responses like this:
As a service user I can tell you that CAMHS is now virtually non existent. Ten years ago I had lots of support for my daughter with my son I have been left to cope alone.
— cozza (@corinnebailey) November 14, 2017
People have caught Hunt offering misleading statistics on several occasions. The fact that these statistics are being shot down isn’t the worst part, though. The worst part is that Hunt is telling the people who actually have to deal with mental health services that everything is fine.
If Hunt is seriously thinking about meeting with Little and health care professionals, it’s hard to see it going well for him. And if he thinks otherwise, it suggests he may be the one person left who believes anything he says.
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