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Healthcare productivity: Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Daily Star - 13 February 2012

Letters for publication in response to articles in the Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Daily star on Monday 13 February 2012

Telegraph

Dear Sir,

Professor Nick Black’s view on the 'myth' of declining healthcare productivity ('Experts reject claims of declining care', 13 February) appears to be based on a number of misunderstandings. He notes the Office for National Statistics expressed the need in 2005 for further work but fails to point out that a substantial subsequent programme has focussed on addressing many of those original limitations. We have a comprehensive measure of quality which includes many of the indicators suggested by Professor Black. Furthermore, this measure incorporates quality adjusted life years, which Professor Black implies is not the case. ONS claims no monopoly on wisdom, but progress is likely to be greatest if we start with a common factual understanding.
Regards,

Joe Grice
Director, Economic and Social Analysis
Office for National Statistics

Guardian

Dear Sir,

Professor Nick Black’s view on the 'myth' of declining healthcare productivity ('Study contradicts Tories on NHS productivity', 13 February) appears to be based on a number of misunderstandings. He notes the Office for National Statistics expressed the need in 2005 for further work but fails to point out that a substantial subsequent programme has focused on addressing many of those original limitations. We have a comprehensive measure of quality which includes many of the indicators suggested by Professor Black. Furthermore, this measure incorporates quality adjusted life years, which Professor Black implies is not the case. ONS claims no monopoly on wisdom, but progress is likely to be greatest if we start with a common factual understanding.
Regards,

Joe Grice
Director, Economic and Social Analysis
Office for National Statistics

Daily Star

Dear Sir,

Professor Nick Black’s view on the 'myth' of declining healthcare productivity ('NHS output decline is a myth', 13 February) appears to be based on a number of misunderstandings. He notes the Office for National Statistics expressed the need in 2005 for further work but fails to point out that a substantial subsequent programme has focused on addressing many of those original limitations. We have a comprehensive measure of quality which includes many of the indicators suggested by Professor Black. Furthermore, this measure incorporates quality adjusted life years, which Professor Black implies is not the case. ONS claims no monopoly on wisdom, but progress is likely to be greatest if we start with a common factual understanding.
Regards,

Joe Grice
Director, Economic and Social Analysis
Office for National Statistics

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