“Terrific figures out today show GP numbers rose by over a thousand from June-Sept this year”
Matt Hancock, Twitter
The health secretary cited NHS workforce figures on Twitter to claim the number of GPs had risen by more than a thousand between June and September in 2018.
This figure was quickly disputed by health professionals who pointed out that the figure was inflated by the intake of new junior doctors who had started training in August. In fact, the number of trained GPs fell in the period cited by Hancock.
After complaints were made to the UK Statistics Authority, Matt Hancock deleted the Tweet.
Matt Hancock’s statement was false. This misleading statement was made by Hancock before Boris Johnson became prime minister. It is relevant because it falls into a pattern of false statements made by Johnson and his health secretary about the NHS.