“Brilliant news that there are now 13,718 more nurses and 7,810 more doctors than a year ago.”

Boris Johnson, Twitter

October 22, 2020

Facts 

Boris Johnson claimed on Twitter that “there are now 13,718 more nurses and 7,810 more doctors than a year ago.” These were figures taken from NHS workforce data.

The general public could have been forgiven for interpreting this Twitter boast from the Prime Minister that Britain has 13,718 more fully trained nurses and 7,810 more fully trained doctors. 

Not so. Mr Johnson was classifying medical students as doctors.

A press release published that day by the Department of Health and Social Care stated that “medical students are on the same standing as Foundation 1 doctors, and so are counted as ‘doctors’ in the statistics.”

Verdict 

Boris Johnson’s claim confused medical students with doctors. His boast about the number of doctors was therefore misleading. Note that the Prime Minister's false claim about doctors and nurses forms part of an ugly pattern. Boris Johnson has repeatedly lied, fabricated and misled British voters about the NHS. For other examples see here, here and here.

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