High impact factchecking

4 March 2016 | Jill Rutter

Three demonstrations of how Full Fact makes a difference in the past few days.

First, the British Medical Journal published the background to Jeremy Hunt’s controversial claims on excess weekend deaths in the NHS in July last year.

A key role was played by Full Fact, which rang the Department of Health to query the claim from the Health Secretary that there were 6,000 excess deaths caused by the absence of a 24/7 NHS.

When the department could not produce a public source, we complained to the UK Statistics Authority about a breach of the principle that Ministers should not cite figures that are not available to the public.

Read our factcheck on weekend deaths.

Second, at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn and David Cameron went head to head on teacher shortages and school capacity.

Mr Cameron claimed that 453 fewer schools were operating at or over capacity than in 2010. Full Fact got in touch with the Education Department to query the figure, which didn’t match the official data.

Two days later, the Prime Minister issued an official correction in Hansard. Read our factcheck of the exchange.

Finally, as the EU referendum swung into action, the Economist noted that

Voters confused by claims made by opposing sides and in the media are asking for plain facts on Britain’s EU membership so they can make up their minds. Sadly, hard facts are hard to find.”

It offered various sources to a bewildered member of the public—top of the list was fullfact.org. You can see all our EU work here.

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