Letter: Hospital league tables: statistics that confuse efficiency with effectiveness

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your coverage of the hospital league tables today reports that St George's Hospital, Tooting, is possibly the most efficient hospital in England. Speaking as a retired GP from Wandsworth, my affection for St George's Hospital in the past was great, but the irrelevance of the league tables as to what matters to patients is encapsulated in the fact that a friend of mine, still living in Wandsworth, was recently offered an appointment to see a neurologist in March 1995.

A referral elsewhere through charitable channels confirmed that my friend has Parkinson's disease. A wait of nine months to see a consultant represents, in my opinion, a fundamental breakdown of the Health Service.

Yours faithfully,

MICHAEL COURTENAY

Adderbury, Oxfordshire

30 June

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