From Skeptical Voter Wiki
Andrew Lansley is the Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire. In 2004 he was made Shadow Secretary of State for Health, and following the May 2010 general election he was made Secretary of State for Health. In the September 2012 cabinet reshuffle, he was made Leader of the House of Commons.
In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Andrew Lansley voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 22 weeks. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits, the majority of MPs voted to keep the abortion time limit at 24 weeks, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report of October 2007 had found no good evidence of change since the limit was set in 1990, and hence no new reason for a reduction. However, it acknowledged that this was only one of many factors to be taken into account when legislating, and did not make any recommendations as to how MPs should vote.
Cancer Drug Availability
In April 2010, during the run up to the 2010 general election, Lansley criticised the Labour government and NICE for not fully recommending the use of 15 cancer drugs for NHS patients. The Chief Executive of Nice, Sir Andrew Dillon, responded saying that "Not all patients with a particular condition benefit from a drug and some drugs only work well for some patients or at a particular stage in a disease. That's why we target the use of some new drugs, or make a partial recommendation."
Lansley was Secretary of State for Health for the preparation and publication of the coalition government's Response to the Science and Technology Committee report 'Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy', although it is not known how strong Lansley's support for the published response was. The response largely rejected the conclusions of the committee report, and advocated no changes to the use of homeopathy on the NHS. However, the reason it gave for this was not the belief that homeopathy worked, but rather it was in the name of "patient choice".
In a short article (not peer-reviewed) in the BMJ, January 2011, health economist John Appleby questioned government claims of poor health outcomes in the NHS used in justifying a reform.
In a Bad Science post in February 2011, Ben Goldacre stated 'I have never heard one politician use the word “evidence” so persistently, and so misleadingly, as Andrew Lansley defending his NHS reforms'. Goldacre then went through various sources of evidence, including the BMJ article above, and found it either lacking/inconclusive, or that it did not support Lansley's statements.
In a letter responding to Goldacre's article, Paul Burstow stated that several sources of evidence had been overlooked. Goldacre's next Bad Science post considered these sources but again concluded that the evidence did not support the government's claims.
5000 Cancer Deaths Claim
In January 2011 it was reported that Lansley had stated that an extra 5000 cancer deaths per year would be saved by NHS reforms giving GPs greater access to diagnostic tests. Reports do not give Lansley's source for this figure, but it seems related to later government use of a similar 5000 cancer deaths claim.
In April 2011 the coalition government released a document titled "Working together for a stronger NHS" which included the claim that "If the NHS was performing at truly world-class levels we would save an extra 5,000 lives from cancer every year" (page 7). The reference for this claim was examined by Ben Goldacre who found that it didn't support the claim.
On 1st June 2011, Lansley repeated the 5000 deaths figure in a newspaper article.
On 17th June 2011 it was reported that the Advertising Standards Authority would be ruling on a complaint relating to the April leaflet.
Minimum Alcohol Pricing
In March 2012 with the coalition government proposing a minimum pricing policy on alcohol, the Guardian newspaper published an article claiming that Lansley had resisted the move, and had instead sided with the drinks industry . An earlier article by the same writer had also covered the issue.
An article on the evidence base of a minimum alcohol price policy by skeptical blogger Keir Liddle here.
- ↑ http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-20&number=203&mpn=Andrew_Lansley
- ↑ http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
- ↑ http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/02/tory-cancer-patients-nice-lansley
- ↑ http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_117810
- ↑ http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d566.full
- ↑ http://www.badscience.net/2011/02/andrew-lansley-and-his-imaginary-evidence/
- ↑ http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/feb/08/deconstruction-of-the-nhs-bill bottom of page
- ↑ http://www.badscience.net/2011/02/why-is-evidence-so-hard-for-politicians/
- ↑ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/12/cancer-diagnosis-andrew-lansley
- ↑ http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_125855.pdf
- ↑ http://www.badscience.net/2011/04/id-expect-this-from-ukip-or-the-daily-mail-not-from-a-government-leaflet/
- ↑ http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2011/05/nhs-health-change-care
- ↑ http://fullfact.org/blog/nhs_reform_david_cameron_cancer_survival_rates-2768
- ↑ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/8551239/Why-the-health-service-needs-surgery.html
- ↑ http://fullfact.org/blog/cancer_survival_nhs_advertising_standards_asa_complaint-2781
- ↑ http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/mar/23/lansley-drinks-industry-alcohol
- ↑ http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/feb/15/alcohol-pricing-battleground-health-industry
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